SYDNEY — A teenage relative of a notorious Australian serial killer was sentenced Friday to 43 years in prison for the ax murder of a friend in the same forest where his infamous great-uncle killed seven backpackers.
Matthew Milat, 19, had pleaded guilty in the New South Wales state Supreme Court to the murder of David Auchterlonie on the victim's 17th birthday on Nov. 20, 2010, in the remote Belanglo State Forest southwest of Sydney.
His great-uncle, Ivan Milat, is serving a life sentence for killing seven young backpackers between 1989 and 1992. Milat buried his victims in shallow graves in the Belanglo forest.
Acting Justice Jane Mathews ordered the younger Milat to serve at least 30 years of his 43-year sentence. His accomplice, Cohen Klein, was sentenced to 32 years and will not be eligible for parole for 22 years. Klein, 19, also pleaded guilty to the murder.
Mathews said Milat remained a serious potential danger to the community and rejected his claims of remorse.
"This was a thrill kill," she said.
"He took the life of an innocent young man who was unfortunate enough to be his friend in an unimaginable, cruel, brutal and violent manner solely for his own personal enjoyment," she added.
She said Milat had glorified his crime by writing poems about it in prison.
Court documents said Milat lured his victim to the forest with the promise of marijuana and then accused him of spreading rumors that Milat had stolen money.
Milat first struck Auchterlonie in the torso with a double-edged ax, then forced him to lie on the ground before inflicting the fatal blow to his head.
Klein used his cellphone to record the last 15 minutes of Auchterlonie's life, including his pleas for mercy and groans of pain.
According to court documents, Milat boasted to a friend the day after the murder: "You know me, you know my family ... I did what they do."