Clovis Man Sentenced to 16 Years to Life for Killing Wife

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Charlotte Ellis' stepmother spoke about the void in the lives of the couples' children since their mother's death. She also reminded Ellis about what he said in court several years ago to the man who accidentally took his son's life.

"You said in your testimony that Charlotte was the love of your life, your soul mate, Maurice you don't destroy that special person, you cherish them."

Marge McCain's voice got shaky at times as she addressed Cantrell Ellis. She referred to him by his nickname, Maurice.

Family members told the court Charlotte was finally moving on when she was attacked in her home and stabbed to death.

"Charlotte is a very good hearted person, all she's ever wanted is a family. She's tried, they've had problems in the past, she has tried to free herself from him through the years," said Trisha Barnes, the victim's cousin.

Prosecutors say Cantrell Ellis was separated from his wife when he went to her home in 2008. Evidence showed he broke into the home and first confronted a family friend who was dating charlotte. But, when he ran away, Cantrell turned his anger to Charlotte.

The murder is the second tragedy for family members

In 2004, the Ellis' 10 year old son was riding his bike to school when he was hit and killed by a truck.

At the sentencing for the truck driver, Cantrell Ellis told the court, even imposing the maximum punishment was not enough.

"In my heart it's not long enough. I'm without my son for the rest of my life."

Before hearing his own punishment, Tuesday Charlotte's loved ones reminded him of the speech he gave in 2006 when he was on the other side of the courtroom," the victim's stepmother Marge McCain said.

"You said that you'd never be able to play ball with him again, share holidays with him, etc, etc. You told the judge the defendant should be sentenced to the maximum sentence for his part in the accident. Maurice, I feel the same in this situation, only that was an accident, this was deliberate."

Judge Robert Oliver reminded everyone there are no winners because the loss is so great on both sides.

He sentenced Ellis to 16 years to life in prison for the second degree murder conviction.

Ellis' defense attorney described his client's reaction to the sentence.

"You know, he's taken responsibility for this and he's handling it calmly and collectedly," Cantrell Ellis' Attorney Sal Sciandra said.

During trial Cantrell Ellis told the court he did not remember killing charlotte.

Before sentencing, the judge denied the defense request for a new trial.

Cantrell Ellis' attorneys say they do plan to file an appeal.

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