THE husband of an Irish woman was sentenced to 25-years to life on Wednesday, June 16 for her brutal murder in Ithaca, New York last year.
New Zealand native Blazej Kot murdered his wife Caroline Coffey, and left her body in a nearby state park in Ithaca, New York.
The Tompkins County Court sentenced Kot on Wednesday to 25 years to life for murder in the second degree, one year for tampering with evidence, and one year for arson in the third degree.
A jury found Kot guilty of murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence a month ago.
The body of Dublin-born Coffey, 28, was found in a park about 400 yards from the home she shared with Kot in Ithaca at the beginning of June last year.
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 years old.
Coffey, who had a horse named Irish Mist, 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 post-doctoral researcher in biomedical engineering at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell at the time of her death. It was at Cornell 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,” Coffey’s father said sadly.
“In this green casket lie 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.
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.”
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers