New Zealand native Blazej Kot, 25, killed his wife Caroline Coffey, 28, and left her body in a nearby state park in Ithaca, New York, last year.
He was sentenced by the Tompkins County Court on Wednesday.
Kot was sentenced to 25 years to life for murder in the second degree, 1 year for tampering with evidence, and 1 year for arson in the third degree.
The two 1 year sentences will be served concurrently with the murder charge.
A jury found Kot guilty of murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence a month ago.
The body of Dublin-born Caroline Coffey, 28, was found along a wooded trail in a park 400 yards from the home she shared with her husband in Ithaca, New York at the beginning of June.
Coffey was born in Co. Dublin but moved to Clark’s Green, Pennsylvania with her parents, Patricia and Michael and her brother Paul, when she was two.
Coffey, who had a horse named Irish Mist, attended Our Lady of Peace School in Clarks Green and was a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton, where she received a degree in biology in 2001.
She earned a Ph.D. in medical sciences from Cornell University in 2007.
She was an assistant professor at St. Joseph's University and was working as a postdoctoral researcher in biomedical engineering at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell at the time of her death.
It was at Cornell that Coffey met Kot.
Coffey's father, Michael, attended the sentencing with his daughter in a green casket of ashes by his side.
“Today, it’s about Caroline,” Michael said sadly.
“In this green casket lies her remains. We thought it would be appropriate for this convicted murderer to see what is left of his beautiful wife. That’s all there is.”
Michael asked Judge John Rowley to sentence Kot to 25 years to life in prison.
Rowley met his request.
“The facts are just so disturbing, the images so powerful, the reality so harsh,” Rowley said.
“I’m, of course, affected like everyone else is. I’m not to be overruled by that. The brutality of the death itself and the innocence of Dr. Coffey are just hard to accept.”
Kot expressed remorse at sentencing, saying he loved his wife deeply.
“We had so much in common, and we had a wonderful future planned together,” Kot said.
“I still can’t understand what came over me to do this.”
Kot described what happened on June 2 as a "tragedy."
He said he has been in a "living hell" ever since he murdered his wife.
“The tragic fact is that I did this terrible thing, and there’s nothing I can do to undo it,” Kot said.
He apologized to Coffey’s family and friends.
“The only thing that matters is that Caroline is gone,” he concluded.
“I’ll have to live and die knowing I’m responsible for that.”
Kot drew suspicion to himself when a park policeman on routine patrol noticed his car in a closed parking lot and found Kot covered in blood just before 10 p.m. on June 2, 2009. Kot drove off.
After a five-mile police chase Kot crashed into a stand of trees. When police caught up with him he was bleeding profusely.
It is believed the wounds were self-inflicted.
Police found Kot clutching an edged weapon, which they forced from his hand. He was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
Kot, who was an information science doctoral candidate at Cornell University, is also charged with setting fire to the apartment he shared with Coffee the same night.
Firefighters put out the blaze in about 15 minutes.
Hikers found Coffey's body Wednesday morning in Taughannock Falls State Park in Trumansburg on June 3. She was wearing a blood-stained shirt and jogging pants, and had reached the area on her own, law enforcement officials said.
An autopsy determined she bled to death due to a massive laceration to the front of her neck.
Kot and Coffey were married in a civil ceremony in October last year and had a small, intimate wedding May 2 last year.
Coffey's friend Jeff Ciacci told The Scranton Times that the couple had a wedding ceremony at a Costa Rican beach resort attended by 30 guests. Ciacci served as the bride's Man of Honor.
According to another friend of Coffey’s, Dimitra Livanos Hollows, Coffey had uploaded pictures of their Costa Rican wedding on Facebook at 8:04 p.m. on the night of the killing.
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