Kathryn Ellis sentenced to life for killing her husband

FRESNO, Calif.

The convicted killer could not hold back her tears. Kathryn Ellis was emotional during her sentencing inside this Fresno County courtroom. Before the judge pronounced her fate, the family torn by tragedy, spoke out. "It will never be alright again, our recommendation for murdering [Robert], we believe Kathryn Ellis should spend the rest of her life in California state prison without the opportunity for parole," said Peggy Ellis, Robert's sister-in-law.

"I don't know what happened that day but I believe in my daughter. I believe in her with all my heart and I know that she loved [Robert] and we will never stop trying to free her," said Karen Getty-Hopkins, Kathryn's mother.

Kathryn claimed the night of the murder, a home intruder shot and killed her husband of more than 20 years. Prosecutors said Kathryn pulled the trigger to cash in on her husband's life insurance. And last month, a jury found her guilty of first degree murder.

"The world has lost a wonderful man, a loving husband and father. Our son, Tom, lost a caring father and adoring mom and a united family," said Kathryn.

Once again, Kathryn denied killing her husband saying Robert was her soul mate and there was no direct evidence linking her to the crime. "With all due respect your honor, looking back and thinking about my case, it seems to me there were preconceived ideas and rushes to judgment," said Kathryn.

But the judge said her explanation of events, simply did not add up. "I understand Ms. Ellis' position and I certainly understand her mother's position in supporting her. But the evidence was very strong," said Judge Hamlin.

In the end, Hamlin gave Kathryn the mandatory sentence of life without parole, much to the dismay of her mother. "I did not believe that she willfully, intentionally killed the man that she loved. I do not, I will not, I will never believe that ever," said Getty-Hopkins.

The Ellis' 16 year old son will be raised without both father and mother.

After the sentencing, Kathryn's attorney said he will keep fighting for his client and appeal today's decision.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.