VELMA, Okla. - The man convicted in the murder of a 16-year-old Oklahoma girl was formally sentenced on Wednesday.
Miles Bench, 24, will be put to death for the 2012 murder of Braylee Henry.
Bench was convicted of beating Henry to death in the back room of a convenience store in Velma. The victim's mother said her daughter barely knew Bench's name.
Henry's mother spoke exclusively with NewsChannel 4 after the sentencing.
She says while she will never have closure, she forgives her daughter's killer.
Braylee Henry's murder haunted the small town of Velma, Oklahoma.
The 16-year-old was brutally murdered at the Tee Pee Totem convenience store where Miles Bench was a clerk.
A jury convicted Bench in February.
"Today has been a relief for me and my family. This part of seeking justice for my daughter is over. We won't be in the presence of [Bench] anymore," Renee Henson, Braylee's mother, said.
Bench had nothing to say to Braylee's family in court Wednesday. He only recited scripture before the judge sentenced him to death.
"To be quite honest with you, it's heart-wrenching. My heart goes out to him and his family, it really does," Henson said.
Henson told us she forgives Bench.
"I think I have, sometimes. I don't think it's something you do right away. It's a journey," Henson said.
Henson testified during the trial that Braylee had gone out for candy the night of her murder. The teen was a new driver.
"I was nervous, but I said, 'I've got to let you go,' and she just smiled and said, 'Yes, you do Mom.' But I didn't know that meant forever," Henson said.
A motive for the murder has never been revealed.
Now Bench, who's 24-years-old, is headed to Oklahoma's death row.
It's justice for Braylee's family, they say, but not closure.
"I'm not a psychiatrist, I'm not a doctor. I'm not a counselor, I'm a mother. I don't believe you get closure from the loss of a child, and I don't know if I want closure because that means I've closed a chapter of her life," Henson says. "I will remember Braylee's beautiful heart. She was a loving, beautiful girl who could always make you laugh."
Henson said she was grateful for the jurors and the decision they made.
Bench's attorneys asked for a new trial before Wednesday's sentencing, but the judge denied their request.
Bench will be transported to the state penitentiary in McAlester within 10 days.