- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) - A Maine man found guilty of murdering his wife on Christmas Day of 2013 was sentenced Friday to 47 years in prison.

Before Justice Ann Murray imposed Christopher Saenz’s sentence in a Bangor courtroom, the Ellsworth man apologized, saying his wife Hilary Saenz was “easy to love” and describing her as a superhero.

“Hilary was my better half, my best friend,” Saenz told the court. “I fell in love with her when I first met her, and I still love her. I miss her,” he said.

In July, Christopher Saenz was found guilty of murder in Hilary Saenz’s death.

WLBZ-TV (https://on.wlbz2.com/1hwGPeG ) reported that before the judge reached her decision, the prosecution said Saenz was “unwilling to accept that he was the cause of Hilary Saenz’s death.”

Prosecutors say Saenz beat his wife to death because he believed she was having an affair.

Saenz has maintained his innocence. He told investigators his wife died after suffering a seizure. But in her ruling, the judge said Hilary Saenz didn’t have a seizure disorder.

Hilary Saenz’s father, David Brown, was among several family members who testified against Christopher Saenz on Friday. Brown told the court that the man has “no respect for anyone’s life.”

Murray called the crime a senseless act, and said there was no evidence that Hillary Saenz was cheating. The judge said that the length of time that Christopher Saenz waited to call for help after his wife collapsed on Christmas morning played a role in the length of the sentence.

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Information from: WLBZ-TV, https://www.wlbz2.com

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