Local News

Teen Gets Up to 24½ Years in Dad's Shooting Death

Posted February 1, 2008

— A Chapel Hill teenager who admitted killing his parents after an argument over a girlfriend and grades was sentenced Friday to as many as 24½ years in prison for the death of his father.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox on Friday sentenced Adam Sapikowski after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the April 2005 death of James Sapikowski, 52.

The sentence ranges from 19 years and nine months to 24 years and six months.

A sentencing is scheduled Feb. 8 in the death of Sapikowski's mother, Alison Powell Sapikowski, 49.

In court last week, Sapikowski pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice and agreed to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. Fox gave the teen a suspended sentence and a $10,000 fine on the obstruction charge.

The plea was structured in multiple parts so Sapikowski would have a felony conviction on his record when being sentenced for the killings, allowing Fox to impose a stiffer prison term, authorities said.

Sapikowski has already spent nearly three years behind bars since he was arrested on first-degree murder charges in May 2005.

Investigators said his parents' bodies had been in their Chapel Hill home for weeks before police discovered them wrapped in blankets behind a barricaded door.

Both had been shot several times at close range with a .410-gauge shotgun, police said.

The teen claimed he killed his parents in self-defense. His attorneys said James Sapikowski had threatened his son with a bat and that physical and emotional abuse had provoked the shootings.

Sapikowski also told psychiatrists that he had been hearing voices since middle school and that he heard them frequently before the slayings. He also told psychiatrists that he thought often about hanging himself because his parents told him he was not working hard enough.

A hospital psychiatrist said in 2006 that the teen suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and has had flashbacks of killing his parents.

In court last week, Sapikoswki apologized for the slayings.


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  • bomanicous Feb 1, 2008

    "He needs to receive the ultimate penalty."...I agree.

    mrr03...People that sell crack are usually back on the street within hours so the cops usually stop wasting their time with them until they go too far.

  • mrr03 Feb 1, 2008

    people who sell crack cocaine get more time..I wonder why?

  • I need my medication PLEESSSEEEE Feb 1, 2008

    Dude definitely has issues.

    HEY. YOU. Yes YOU. Pass the Zoloft....

  • LuvLivingInCary Feb 1, 2008

    i think they ought to have him share a cell with michael peterson. i'm sure michael would really like that.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 1, 2008

    The spoiled brat should have received either the death penalty or life in prison as a result of a 1st degree murder conviction.

    The District Attorney who plea bargained the two 1st degree murder convictions to 2nd degree murder needs to be fired and sent to live with Mike Nifong.

    As long as we have liberal judges legislating from the bench we are going to have these miscarriages of justice. Judges are there to enforce the law to the maximum extent allowed by the law. They are not there to let criminals off with lighter sentences than they should.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 1, 2008

    He needs to receive the ultimate penalty.

  • momofthreeinFV Feb 1, 2008

    This boy has serious issues and I don't think he is smiling. I think he is a young boy that is scared, confused & just not "right" in his head. So no matter what for both killings, he will be behind bars for 50 years or more. So he would be in his late 60's or early 70's before he is release. There is no winners here because of what he did. His parents are gone, he is off to jail and his siblings will visit him behind bars. From Chapel Hill to Central Prison, now that is a huge live style change.

  • yacs Feb 1, 2008

    Should have been a minimum, not a maximum.

  • YipesStripes Feb 1, 2008

    SMILING? Where do folks get that he's smiling in that picture? When people smile, their eyes smile - his eyes are not smiling. The expression looks to me like he's clamped his lips shut, almost semi-remorseful or like he's just heard something that he knew was coming. Perhaps this was right after he apologized?

  • downtownbrown Feb 1, 2008

    I just hope his life in prison is hell on earth. Give him a few days with some real hardened criminals and he won't be smiling anymore.