Emotional punishment for Sanger murderer, rapist

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Convicted of murdering his wife and raping a pre-teen, a Sanger man is now headed to prison for life with no chance of ever getting out. (KFSN)

Convicted of murdering his wife and raping a pre-teen, a Sanger man is now headed to prison for life with no chance of ever getting out.

Keith Beyer confessed four times to murdering his wife, Sandra, and even described many of the details. But lately, he's denied committing any crime. Wednesday, he got to say a lot while trying to delay punishment.

Beyer walked out of the courtroom to an ovation from the people who've looked forward to this day for more than two years. Beyer strangled his wife just hours after raping an 11-year-old girl in October 2012. But after initially confessing to the murder publicly in court, he took it all back. His decision forced the young girl to testify at trial last year. Wednesday, she fought through tears to tell him why he should be the one who's scared now.

"You know what's going to happen to you in prison," the girl said. "And you know where you're going right after. And you're going to get everything you deserve."

Friends say Sandra Cantu was a woman who saw the best in everybody -- even Keith Beyer. Her sister remembered her love of family.

"She used to lay down on me and my mom used to tell us stories and it's really hard," she said, as she choked back tears. "I lost my big sister."

As Beyer tried several times to postpone punishment and even get a new trial, frustration grew. Many noted his lack of remorse, which made forgiveness nearly impossible, as reflected in a letter written by Sandra's mother.

"May God have mercy on your soul, you poor excuse of a human being," Rosie Cantu wrote.

But Sandra Cantu got the last word and in a statement written from her perspective, the anonymous author asked her family and friends to make this the last time they think of Beyer. Now, she said, they need to find peace.

"Don't cry for me," the writer says Sandra would be saying. "At last, I found the lover of my soul, my true love. He loves and gently cares for me. He is my husband. He is the creator of this world. His name is Jesus Christ."

The judge sentenced Beyer to 45 years in prison, plus four life sentences and he'll never get a parole hearing.

Related Topics:
crimetrackertrialcourtsentencingmurderrapechild sex assaultsex assaultsex crimesfresno countySanger
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