A trial fraught with tension and strained emotions ended Friday when a jury sentenced Christopher Campano to 1,000 years in prison for the 1992 fatal beating of his wife.
After the punishment was read, the slain woman's sister chased after Campano's relatives outside the Oklahoma County district courtroom, shouting and pointing her finger at them.
"He'll never get out. I'm going to show up at every parole hearing. You lied about my sister. You lied," screamed Arleen Linquiti.
Campano, 28, was found guilty a day earlier of first-degree manslaughter in the slaying of his wife, Caren. Her skeletal remains were found eight months after her husband reported her missing following a domestic argument at their northwest Oklahoma City home.
Caren, 43, had 15 skull fractures and three broken ribs, and a telephone cord was wrapped around her head and feet. Her body was found March 1993 near a motocross track in Oklahoma City. She had been missing since July 1992.
Prosecutors had charged Campano with first-degree murder and were seeking the death penalty.
After six hours of deliberation Thursday, jurors returned a guilty verdict on the lesser charge.
In a bizarre sequence of events, the jury foreman tried to withdraw from jury service after the punishment was declared unacceptable by District Judge Tom Smith.
Jurors had tried to impose a life sentence without the chance for parole and the judge ordered jurors to return a sentence that complied with state law.
Judge Smith refused the foreman's request and jurors returned shortly with the sentence of 1,000 years imprisonment.
Campano has two prior convictions for burglary and concealing stolen property and the minimum sentence jurors could have imposed was 20 years and the maximum would have been a life prison term.
Defense attorney Bert Richard said Campano was satisfied the jurors "had agonized with this case. " "He expected the jury to recommend a harsh sentence and he told them when he testified he was ready to accept what they gave out," Richard said.
Campano's mother testified that her son had a stormy relationship with his wife and that the couple frequently argued. The slain woman was moody and prone to frequent outbursts of temper, the defendant's mother testified. BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 564521