A 70-year-old upstate New York man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison this week for using an ax to murder his wife 40 years ago, prosecutors said.
James Krauseneck received the maximum sentence for killing his wife Cathleen on Feb. 19, 1982 while she slept in their Brighton home, the Monroe County District Attorney said.
“Here at the MCDA’s office, we do not give up on victims. We will do everything in our power to secure justice, even 40 years later,” District Attorney Sandra Doorley tweeted.
A jury convicted Krauseneck in September of killing Cathleen by striking an ax to her head.
The couple’s daughter Sara, who was 3-years-old at the time, discovered her mother’s body.
During his sentencing Monday, Sara said it is “absolutely inconceivable” he could have killed her mother in such a brutal manner, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Cathleen’s father, 95-year-old Robert Schlosser, had no doubts about his former son-in-law’s guilt and even accused him of brainwashing Sara.
“Jim, I hope you live for 100 years and enjoy your new home,” Schlosser said in a statement to the court.
Before his sentencing, James addressed the court and directly said: “I did not murder Cathy,” according to 13 WHAM.
“I loved Cathy with all my heart and with all my soul. I continue to be haunted by why someone would murder such a beautiful person.”
The murder had gone unsolved for years until 2015 when prosecutors worked with the Brighton Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Monroe County Crime Lab and Dr. Michael Baden to further review the case.
Judge Charles Schiano said he lost no sleep over the verdict and said the images of Cathleen’s murder were “heinous, brutal and unimaginable.”
James Krauseneck’s attorneys said they will plan to appeal.