Sunday, March 14, 2010

Criminal with history of violence sentenced to life for killing 18 year old wife

A "man" who shot his bride in the face, killing her, was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. 26 year old Charles Reese was sentenced by District Judge Lori Valenzuela Thursday, March 12 after a jury convicted him the previous day of murder of 18 year old Shamika Sanford. Though they had been married less than a month, but according to her grandmother, Margaret Sanford, had a history of domestic violence.

Reese told police the two had been fighting and after he ordered her to get in the car on March 10, 2009, she refused and began walking away. After shooting her in the chest, knocking her to the ground, he said he emptied his clip into her head because he “didn't want her to live through life knowing the person she loved shot her.”

Reese was at large for 4 days, and according to officials, confessed to numerous people that he killed his wife. Besides the gunshot would to the head, Sanford suffered wounds to her face, chest, and neck and hands. He did not testify at the trial, but gave a videotaped statement of his innocence.

Defense attorneys Michael Hoyle and Charles Bunk asked jurors to give Reese 25 years in prison, saying he grew up in an abusive environment, with both of his parents serving prison terms for drug offenses and an uncle going to prison for killing his wife.

“What is it children crave?” Hoyle asked. “They want love and attention from others. He didn't get it ...That 25 years of need, frustration, anger and rage comes out through that gun. ... It doesn't make it any less horrible. But it explains why it happened.”

Prosecutor Yvonne Gonzalez and co-counsel Daryl Harris argued that the "grusomeness" of the crime and need for accountability warranted a life sentence. “Shanika was the first time a woman demanded his love, his fidelity, his commitment. When he realized he couldn't give it, he took her life in the most brutal way any of us could imagine.”

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