A convicted murderer maintains his innocence as the judge reads a sentence of life in prison without parole. 

Why not just get a divorce?  That’s the question that still remained as Christopher Leclair returned to the courthouse one last time for sentencing.  

President Judge John Trucilla says this murder was not only deprived, but the most calculated and sophisticated he’s ever seen.

The Victim’s Brother, Frank Case, tells us, “You had the two opposites, just like positive and negative; selfless and selfish and we know the story on that.” 

49-year-old Christopher Leclair now facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus up to 17 years for related charges.

But, prosecutors say the story began long before he pulled the trigger.  Evidence shows Leclair had a plan to kill wife Karen Leclair for more than a decade, and that became a reality on June 10th of last year.

A jury found the defendant guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife in the head, tying her to an anchor, and tossing her body into Lake Erie.

During trial, Leclair’s attorney said Karen committed suicide; that’s the story the defendant stuck to at sentencing.

Elizabeth Hirz, First Assistant District Attorney, says, “Well, it’s absolutely a ridiculous defense. It’s a ridiculous story, another one of his depraved lies.” 

But, prosecutors say this case was about more than just the crime, also a long history between the defendant and the victim. 

Hirz says, “She’s just a beautiful woman who was trying to keep her marriage together and standing by this man who just continually lied to her, lied about her, embarrassed her…”

Now, Karen’s family is ready to move forward as the defendant still claims he’s innocent. 

Frank says, “He is blatantly arrogant and has been ever since I’ve known him and it’s just Chris. His father taught him well. That’s all I can say.” 

In trial, the prosecution presented evidence saying Leclair had asked his father to “make it vanish” in regards to the .38 caliber revolver.

Bruce Sandmeyer, Defense Attorney, says, “It was a very complex case. It was not a cut and dry case. The trial went for over a week.”