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35-Year Sentence For Man In Estranged Wife’s Death

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File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) _ A man who stabbed his estranged wife to death at her home in Chester as she called 911 has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Middletown Superior Court Judge Susan Handy called 51-year-old John Belanger’s acts “heinous, selfish and violent” as she imposed the sentence Thursday while nearly 50 of the victim’s relatives and friends watched from the audience. Belanger pleaded guilty in January to murder and violating a protective order.

Authorities say Belanger broke into 51-year-old Bonnie MacKay-Belanger’s home and stabbed her 23 times in February 2010. Police say the attack was caught on tape as MacKay-Belanger called 911 and named Belanger as the attacker. The two were in the middle of a divorce.

The victim’s mother, Muriel MacKay, called the death tragic, needless and horrible on Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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