A New York woman who murdered her husband of 30 years on his farm in April 2015 has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Charlene Mess, 49, attacked Douglas Mess, 52, before burying his body under a pile of manure, according to media reports.
In a plea deal, Charlene Mess admitted to first degree manslaughter.
She first attacked her husband with a pitchfork.
“You admitted to killing Douglas Mess, the father of your three children,” Judge Michael Mohun said in court, according to The Batavian. “You caused his death with a gunshot wound to the head. You took him, trussed by rope, to a manure pile and buried him. Law enforcement was told you had no knowledge of his whereabouts ... The death of Douglas Mess resonates with the community ... with the children that lost their father.”
One of Douglas’ sons reported him missing after he did not show up for work.
“This past year has been rough on a lot of us who knew Doug, but especially his sons,” said Laura Scott, Douglas’ sister, WROC reported. “They lost their father to a murder and the more horrifying thing is it’s their mother who did it.”
District Attorney Donald O’Geen said Charlene feared losing the farm.
“She definitely loved her animals, so much so that she killed her husband,” O’Geen said, according to the Batavian. “Shortly before his death, Doug was looking into filing for divorce. He was sick of her alcoholism, her abuse, her lack of help on the farm. The divorce would have caused her to lose her animals and she couldn’t take that.”
He added that the 49-year-old refused to show any remorse for the crime she had committed.
“In a murder case, you don’t ever expect anyone to not at least have remorse, or show some sort of compassion,” O’Geen added. “She refuses to acknowledge what she did. She couldn’t even say she was sorry to the family.”
Douglas’ family members and friends attended the sentencing and were given a chance to speak before the judge.
“The question that has haunted me for the past year is why?" asked Thomas Stroud, a good friend. "Why was it necessary to take his life? Why take a father, brother, uncle, coworker, neighbor ... a dear and loyal friend? He gave [so] much of himself to others. You took so much from so many.”