Monday, August 16, 2010

Man who held 1st wife hostage in Florida in 1989 sentenced to 55 years for murder of 2nd wife

A man who had been imprisoned 15 years in a Florida prison for kidnapping and holding his first wife and daughter hostage was sentenced to 55 years without parole for killing his second wife. Lake County Circuit Court Theodore Potkonjak sentenced Clarence Weber Thursday, August 12 for the July 5, 2008 stabbing death of his estranged wife Adelina.

Adelina had filed for divorce on June 30, 2008. Weber made multiple trips to the restaurant Adelina worked at between July 1 to July 5 leaving notes to meet, Kalata said. For unknown reasons, Adelina agreed to meet Weber on July 5, 2008. It was at this meeting that Weber stabbed her to death and then fled, [State's Attorney Eric] Kalata said.

Weber has a history of violent behavior against women, Kalata said. In 1989, Weber choked his wife, put a knife to her throat and held their daughter hostage. Weber served 15 years in prison in Florida for the offenses against his first wife, Kalata said. "It was a horrible situation in Florida and it was a horrible situation here. At the center of both horrible situations was Mr. Weber," Potkonjak said.

While Kalata asked for the maximum 60 year sentence, Assistant Public Defender John Bailey said he and his client were "asking for some hope that someday, somehow, Mr. Weber might be released because a long prison sentence is a life sentence because Mr. Weber is 61 years old," Bailey said.

Judge Potkonjak sided with the prosecution and the victim's family, saying that anything closer to the lower end of the sentencing range (20 to 60 years for 1st degree murder in illinois) will" deprecate the seriousness of his actions."

The victim's sister, Cynthia Trujillo, said in her victim impact statement "All the therapy in the world will not stop the tears...It's unbelievable how one person can shatter so many hearts." After the sentence was meted out, she stated,"[the family is] definitely satisfied with the sentence. As long as he's locked up, we'll be better off."

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