After 18 months, we’ve reached the end of one of the most heinous chapters in Ligonier’s history.

On Thursday last week, the third and final person connected to the March 5, 2018, double murder at Riverside Villa Apartments was sentenced.

The story that two people had been shot and killed — and a third just narrowly missed being killed, too — shocked Ligonier and the wider Noble County community. Shootings, even accidental ones, are pretty rare around here. But murders are even rarer.

And, sadly, this murder also goes into the books as probably one of the stupidest in Noble County history, since the root cause of the despicable crime was a purse.

Because of it, Michael J. Johnson is serving 170 years in prison. Tiffani Cox is part way through an eight-year prison sentence for helping to set up the volatile situation. And Kyra Frost will spend the next two years on electronically monitored home detention for failing to do the right thing after two people were killed.

Justice was meted out in the case proportional to the charges each were convicted upon. Many readers wanted to see more punishment doled out in each of the cases and it’s hard to argue with that. These type of senseless crimes do heighten the public’s ire, with good reason.

But beyond that, we hope the community is able to close the book on this dark chapter and look forward.

We hope that this random act of violence does not permanently stain Ligonier’s reputation as a safe place to live. Once dubbed the safest city in Indiana for two years in a row, Ligonier has lost that title. But this incident was an extreme, unexpected outlier for a community that is a good place to live on a day-to-day basis.

While we know it will take many, many years for the families of victims Justin Adams and Amanda Feldstein to recover, we hope wholeheartedly they are able to find peace in time.

They have been through the most and the worst of it all, and done so with grace and composure, as much as can be expected for families thrust into such horrid tragedy.

We wish them the best and further hope that this was the first time and last time any family in Ligonier has to endure such sorrow.

Our View is written by The Advance Leader staff. Steve Garbacz is editor, reporters are Sara Barker and Sheryl Prentice. Comments may be sent to sgarbacz@kpcmedia.com.

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