SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls mother at the center of a 40-year-old cold case will serve time behind bars.

After hours of emotional testimony, a judge sentenced Theresa Bentass to 10 years in prison with 9 of those years suspended. The state was asking for 40 years.

The sentence isn’t what a lot of people were hoping for, though.

But after numerous witnesses who testified in court Judge Bradley Zell explained the charges, the laws, and how he came to his decision.

“I’ve listened to and carefully considered comments, statements, and information that’s been presented,” Judge Zell said.

Before sentencing, Judge Bradley Zell said multiple times the sentence rested with him and him alone.

“Is it what your family wanted? No. Is it what the community wanted, and the state wanted? No. That’s not my job to render a decision as to what people want, it’s to what is just as what’s appropriate under the circumstances in this case,” Judge Zell said.

Judge Zell told the court, he had to consider just the facts.

In 1981, Theresa Bentaas gave birth to the baby boy in her bedroom. Judge Zell said that was not a crime.

She never sought medical help, which he also said, is not a crime.

Zell says she’s guilty of not reporting the birth and illegally disposing of human remains, but it’s not clear she killed her child.

Baby Andrew was found in a ditch wrapped in a blanket in southeast Sioux Falls.

“The baby had a small concentration of air in the right lung and a small amount of air in his stomach; all indicating the child was born alive and attempted to breath,” Judge Zell said.

But Judge Zell said there’s no evidence to suggest the baby would have survived even if Bentaas would have sought medical help.

“Over a thousand newborn infants die in hospitals every year while being attended to by the best medical care that can be provided to a mother and child,” Judge Zell said. “The court is not condoning what Theresa Bentaas did in this matter but is not too clear that she killed her baby boy.”

Listen to Zell’s full statement in the video player below.

Bentaas will report to the Minnehaha County Jail in January before being taken to the Women’s Prison.