Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Man who strangled wife to death with belt sentenced to 30 years imprisonment

A man who strangled his wife to death with a belt was sentenced to 30 years in a Tallahassee, FL, courtroom Monday, April 26. Daniel Tappen murdered his wife Kimberly inside their southeast Tallahassee, FL home in 2008. After a 6 day trial, and five hours of deliberation, Tappen was convicted of 2nd degree murder by a jury on March 10 of this year. The main reason that Tappen was convicted of 2nd and not 1st degree murder was defense evidence showing that Kim had a high level of cocaine in her body and the insistence that Kim's death was suicide.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors asked for life without parole. Kim's mother, Lynn Delay, brought her dead daughter's childhood teddy bear, saying the bear was "still very much loved just like his owner." Kim's sister Cheryl Phillips said that "It has been almost two years now and I just want to stop crying, but I can't, it hurts so much."

 "Danny is a kind and harmless man. There is not an unkind bone in his body. Throughout our entire marriage, he never said no to me," says Daniel's ex-wife Mary Jane Tappen.  Through tears, his mother turned her attention from the Judge to Daniel. "We know that you didn't do this son and we love you very much."

The defendant will be eligible for early release after serving 25 1/2 years in the Florida Department Of Corrections. He hopes to be incarcerated in Wakulla Correctional Institute, 20 miles from Tallahassee.

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