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Teen gathering signatures for maximum sentence for friend’s killer

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MILWAUKEE -- Stephanie Romero suffered a horrific death. Now, a Bradley Tech student and Romero's best friend is demanding the maximum sentence for Romero's killer.

It has been eight months since 16-year-old Alanis Skenandore lost her best friend, though she carries her memory around her neck.

"It really just destroyed a piece of my heart because that was my best friend. I carry every day a necklace of Stephanie. It shows her picture and in the back it says "rest in peace Stephanie Romero," Skenandore said.

Romero's body was found inside a vacant home near 25th and Rogers. A criminal complaint says Eduardo Ivanez, then 17 years old was witnessed by friends choking Romero, then stabbing her repeatedly with a knife in the neck and head.

Ivanez returned to the house days later to hide Romero's body in a crawl space.

"He killed her in a sick and brutal way, and nobody should go out that way -- the way that Stephanie did. It's not fair," Skenandore said.

A jury convicted Ivanez in November of first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. 

Skenandore will speak at his sentencing next month, and won't go to court empty-handed. So far, she has collected 300 signatures demanding the maximum sentence for Ivanez -- life in prison without the chance of parole.

"We need help for our movement. We want this guy to be put in jail. We want him to be in prison," Skenandore said.

Skenandore has started a Facebook page, and so far, is circulating the petition at her high school. She hopes it will convince a judge to see Ivanez the same way she does.

"A psycho. A murderer," Skenandore said.

Skenandore and her mom will be outside the home where Romero was killed on Tuesday, December 18th from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. gathering signatures. Skenandore hopes the home is eventually torn down.

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