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20 years for his wife’s murder
D
aughter speaks against him, and judge calls killing – which was done with knife, bat and hands – a ‘horrific’ act
Newsday – Long Island, N.Y.
Author: LUIS PEREZ
Date: Jun 26, 2008
In Melinda Llanes’ nightmares, she comes home to find her mother bludgeoned to death. Yet far more terrifying is her waking knowledge of who killed Mona Rose Llanes, 49, the East Patchogue woman told a judge in a Riverhead courtroom yesterday.
“It’s so hard to know that my dad is the one who committed this horrible crime,” Llanes, 30, said at her father’s sentencing to 20 years in prison for manslaughter. “I will do anything to hear her voice again.”
Nelson Llanes, 59, who was arrested a day after the March 26, 2007, killing in the family’s ranch-style home, looked toward the floor as his daughter spoke. His hands nervously fiddled with a folded manila envelope behind his back, until court officers removed Llanes’ handcuffs so he could read a prepared statement he took from the envelope.
“I will never be able to come to terms with it – losing my wife, my son, my daughters, and my grandkids, forever,” said Llanes, a short, bald and bespectacled man. “I won’t be forgiven – forever.”
He added: “To this day, I don’t have any idea why or how it happened.”
First charged with second-degree murder, which carries a 25-years-to-life sentence, Llanes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter last month in exchange for the sentence. Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs imposed the sentence, calling Llanes’ act “horrific.”
Prosecutor Kerriann Kelly said Llanes, who ran his own landscaping company, used a knife, an aluminum baseball bat and his own hands to kill his estranged wife. The couple had recently separated and he was suspicious that she was having an affair, authorities have said.
In the weeks before the death, Nelson Llanes moved out to live with his eldest daughter and son-in-law, who tried to counsel him, Llanes explained in his statement.
The day after the killing, Llanes was found by a routine police patrol, who noticed a truck parked behind an East Main Street bar. Llanes was inside the truck, unconscious after inhaling toxic fumes in a failed attempt to take his own life, authorities said.
“It was an overwhelming case,” said Kelly, referring to evidence that included a confession, DNA evidence and a witness who saw Llanes going into the home.
A mother of four and a grandmother, her family said Mona Rose Llanes worked 21 years as a nutritionist in Bellport.
“This is really the ultimate tragedy. Everybody loses all around,” said defense attorney Michael Brown, of Central Islip. “If he could turn back the hands of time, he would do so immediately.”
Credit: BY LUIS PEREZ. [email protected]