Man who murdered wife Christmas day sentenced to 47 years in prison | News

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Man who murdered wife Christmas day sentenced to 47 years in prison


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A judge has sentenced Christopher Saenz, the man found guilty of murdering his wife, Hilary Saenz back on Christmas day 2013 to 47 years in prison.

During Saenz's original trial, the court heard numerous testimonies from friends and family including Saenz's young children, both whom painted him as a physically and mentally abusive husband.

Before the judge reached her decision the prosecution said Saenz was "unwilling to accept that he was the cause of Hilary Saenz's death." 

Several families members also testified one last time against Saenz, many of them describing how loving and thoughtful Hilary was. Hilary's father, David Brown, addressed the court stating, "there is so much I miss, like the little things...Chris Saenz has no respect for anyone else's life." 

Many of her family members said they were unaware of what was happening because Hilary was scared and feared the safety of her children. 

Before the judge handed down her verdict, Saenz addressed the court apologizing. Filled with emotion, Saenz said his wife was "easy to love" and described her as being a superhero. He then mentioned that things got tough financially when their son was born.

"Hilary was my better half, my best friend. I fell in love with her when I first met her and I still love her. I miss her," Saenz said. 

After a brief recess, Justice Muray addressed the court saying this was a senseless act because there was no evidence that Hilary was cheating, which Saenz had suspected. When handing down her decision, Justice Murray also considered the length of time Saenz waited to call for help after Hilary collapsed Christmas morning. 

"We are disappointed with the sentence. We feel like we have a strong appeal and so we are going to be filing that paperwork right away," said defense attorney, Robert Van Horn.

Hilary's father spoke outside the courtroom, stating that the sentencing was closure for his family. He said he hopes his daughter's story will bring attention to domestic violence.