Laura Rideout and her son Colin Rideout were sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for the murder/cover-up of Laura's estranged husband and Colin's father of Craig Rideout
Laura Rideout and her son Colin Rideout were sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on Friday for the cover-up and murder of Laura’s estranged husband and Colin’s father Craig Rideout, according to multiple outlets.
Both Laura, 46, and Colin, 24, were convicted of second-degree murder by a Monroe County, New York, jury in July for the Craig’s death by strangulation, PEOPLE previously reported.
Craig’s other son, Alexander Rideout, was acquitted of murder charges but was convicted of two counts of tampering with evidence along with his brother. Laura was also found guilty of second-degree burglary and one count of tampering with evidence.
Their sentencing Friday came in the same Rochester court where they were found guilty in July, the Associated Press reported. Each received the maximum terms for their convictions. Laura was also given an additional 15 years for burglary.
Alexander was given 2-8 years in prison for an evidence tampering conviction, WXXI-AM News reported.
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Craig’s disfigured body was found wrapped in a tarp in a wooded area in Yates County. He had been strangled, with his face and fingernails burned off by acid.
Identifying his body took days, WHEC reported.
Prosecutors believe a messy custody battle and divorce were the motive for the murder. At the time of Craig’s death, Laura and Rideout were separated. She and her children were living with her boyfriend, Paul Tucci (Tucci was also charged with murder but was acquitted of all charges in July).
“This case was premeditated, it was evil, and it was diabolical,” Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moran said, Democrat and Chronicle reported.
Craig’s sister Robbyn Drew reported him missing on the afternoon of his murder,WHEC reported. Worried, she had gone to his home, only to find Laura cleaning it.
“Laura said she was just tidying up because the kitchen smelled. I thought this was unlike Laura, because she rarely cleaned when she was living with my brother.” Drew told investigators, WHEC reports.
The next day, following an anonymous tip, Monroe County deputies discovered Alexander and Colin disposing of evidence, including acid-based drain cleaner used to burn off Rideout’s face and fingerprints, into a local pond, according to multiple reports.
On July 19, surveillance footage from a local Walmart showed Laura and Tucci purchasing drain cleaner, tarps, bungee cords and work gloves used to cover up Rideout’s murder, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.The pair were arrested for tampering with evidence.
“This was definitely one of the most heinous cases I’ve seen in my more than 30 years in law enforcement,” said Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. “To see someone so horrendously murder their own flesh and blood is unbelievable.”
Before Friday’s sentencing, Drew said in court that it had been her brother’s greatest wish to repair his relationships with his children, Democrat and Chronicle reported — an opportunity she noted was destroyed with his killing.
She asked that her nephews and sister-in-law receive the maximum sentences, Democrat and Chronicle reported. “There’s nothing to be done to bring my brother back,” Drew said. “My hope is that he will be remembered as the kind, loving man he was.”
At the time of conviction, Craig Rideout’s mother told Democrat and Chronicle that the jury’s verdict was bittersweet for her family. “Of course he meant a lot to me,” Ness Rideout said. “I’m pleased to have justice for [Craig], but as a grandmother I do have mixed emotions.”
Lawyers for all three convicted family members previously told PEOPLE they plan to appeal.