A Massachusetts man who fatally stabbed his wife and then sent photos of her deceased body to his friends has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to multiple reports.
Christopher Fratantonio, 37, was found guilty of first-degree murder on Friday at Barnstable County Superior Court.
On Feb. 28, 2017, Fratantonio repeatedly stabbed his wife Mary “Molly” Fratantonio while she was asleep in their bed. He then took two photos with his phone and sent them to friends, asking if they would be willing to care for the couple’s 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
“He let his own children see their mother’s body torn apart at his hands,” Molly’s brother Ian McClatchey told local newspaper the Cape Cod Times last week.
Fratantonio used a kitchen knife to stab Molly multiple times. When police arrived, the knife was still in her throat.
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Fratantonio’s attorney told jurors his client suffered from lingering post-traumatic stress because he was sexually abused as a child. He added that Fratantonio had suffered two concussions and had anxiety and depression.
His attorney told jurors that Fratantonio told police, “I wasn’t even going to do it; I didn’t want to do it. I’d rather I had done it to myself.”
Molly’s brother McClatchey claimed Fratantonio’s attorney was attempting to make his client a victim, calling the tactic “gross.”
“To in any way insinuate that someone who attacks a sleeping mother in front of her two children like this is a victim is sickening,” McClatchey told the Cape Cod Times.
Joan Kilbourne, Molly’s mother, gave a victim impact statement to the court about her daughter, a 35-year-old special education teacher. In the statement, Kilbourne said Fratantonio terrorized her daughter, often withholding money and questioning her whereabouts.
“He was relentless in his desire to control her every move,” she said, according to the Cape Cod Times.
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The jury found him guilty after deliberating for two hours.
Kilbourne and her husband have become the guardians of Molly’s children.
“My family and I will never recover from losing Molly; my heart breaks every day,” Joan Kilbourne said during her statement. “Molly was a gentle, caring person, attentive mother and award-winning teacher.”
It was not immediately clear if Fratantonio plans to appeal his conviction or sentence.