A man convicted in a high-profile Vermont murder case has been sentenced to life in prison.
A jury found Allen Prue guilty this fall of luring and killing his former snowplow customer, Melissa Jenkins, back in March 2012.
Prue was sentenced to 50 years to life on the charge of murder, was sentenced to life on the charge of kidnapping and sentenced to four and half to five years on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
Prosecutors said Prue and his wife, Patricia, had become obsessed with the popular science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy.
"I can't imagine what Melissa's family is going through," Prue told Judge Robert Bent.
Prue maintained his innocence at sentencing, claiming his wife Patricia masterminded and executed the plot.
"The one thing I am guilty of is bringing the person who did this crime to Vermont, and for that, I'm truly sorry," he said.
However, Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren and Judge Bent said Prue was clearly a willing and active participant in the killing, which they said was months in the planning.
"This was a hunt, and they were acting as a pair," Judge Bent said.
Bent said earlier he was unsure if he'd issue his sentence Wednesday night or Thursday.
"A case that was cut-and-dried by Melissa on March 25, 2012, has taken thousands of hours, thousands of dollars, and millions of tears," victims' advocate Susan Carr said, reading a letter from the Jenkins family that referred to the fact Jenkins left a clue by telling a friend she was going to meet the Prues to help them with their broken-down car.
The story of the car breakdown turned out to be a ruse used to lure Jenkins from her home, prosecutors and Judge Bent said.
"We will never again know the joy and happiness we shared for 33 years," Carr said, reading from the family's letter.
Prue's sentencing will be automatically appealed, according to Vermont law.
Stay with necn as this story develops.