David Viens, 49, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of his wife, Dawn, in 2009 despite his contention her death was accidental.
Viens contended in court that he had ted up his wife only to keep her quiet for the night because she had a substance-abuse problem; however a probation report filed in the case concluded Viens knowingly restricted her breathing with duct tape.
"If his story is true," the probation report said, "he made the victim his prisoner and denied her not only freedom of movement but also her ability to breathe. ... When the victim perished, he could not have been terribly surprised."
The pre-sentencing report also concluded Viens had laid out a detailed plan for his wife's death and recommended a life sentence, the Los Angeles Times said.
Mrs. Viens' body was never found. The New York Daily News said Viens retracted a confession that he stuffed his wife's corpse in a 55-gallon drum and simmered it for four days at his Long Beach restaurant to destroy the remains.
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