Besides serving as a Scoutmaster, Anderson volunteered teaching math classes for Indiana University Kokomo and helped with Kokomo High School’s robotics team. He also was a certified pilot and volunteered to fly patients and family members to out-of-state hospitals.
Anderson’s widow, Bette, told the court her husband was a remarkable man who helped many people.
Since the murder, she said, she has suffered from erratic sleep, stress-induced panic attacks and crying spells. She said she has also struggled financially since the incident.
“Art Anderson was my life partner, my husband, the father of my children and my friend,” Bette Anderson said. “Neither punishment nor forgiveness are for me to dole out. That’s up to the court and our creator. But I don’t want anyone else to ever go through what my family has gone through. I want to make sure you are separated from society as long as there’s any chance you could do what you did to all of us.”
She urged Golitko to seek help for his mental illness and make his life better while serving out his sentence.
“Your actions have hurt so many people,” Bette Anderson said. “Please do everything you can to turn your own life around. Art will never come back to life, but you have the chance to learn and change. Please don’t waste another life.”
Golitko declined to make a statement during the hearing. His mother, Valerie Henson, cried openly behind him.
Circuit Court Judge Timothy Spahr called the murder “tragic,” but said there were more mitigating factors in the case than aggravators.
Spahr noted Golitko had never been criminally charged before the murder, and has a history of mental illness that factored into the incident.
He also said the fact Golitko pleaded guilty showed he took responsibility for the murder and demonstrated thoughtfulness for the two young Scouts present when Anderson was stabbed, since they would have had to testify and relive the incident if the case had gone to trial.