Updated 08/27/2012 06:40 PM
Cardenas Sentenced to 25 Years to Life
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It began as a crime of passion: a sexual encounter, a murder, and a body hidden in a remote apple orchard in Orleans County.
On Monday, it ended with the maximum sentence allowable under law.
"This was an ugly homicide. The manner in which Mr. Cardenas treated his victim, before her death, during the time he was killing her, and after she died is just... something as a prosecutor, I'll never forget," said Joseph Cardone, Orleans County District Attorney.
Carlos Cardenas, who admitted having intercourse with and then strangling his 15-year-old sister-in-law, Katherine Sanchez, will spend 25 years to life in prison for the crime.
"I'm happy for the family that the case is over and they hopefuly can move on from here," Cardone said.
Cardenas stood motionless in the courtroom, barely showing reaction as Judge James Punch spoke about the crime.
"When considering your conduct before the murder, the murder itself, and afterwards," the judge said, "justice would require that you spend the rest of your life in prison. But I think even that, is falling short of justice."
He continued, "When you commit a crime this evil... you've already written your ticket."
"This 15-year-old girl is dead. She's always going to be dead. By the same token, my client's a 22-year-old whose entire life is now going to be in the Department of Corrections, in essence," said Mary Beth Feindt, defense attorney.
Cardenas' attorney says he still repents for the crime.
"He has, from the very beginning of my representation of him – which was only in April – expressed remorse and sadness over what has occurred and what he did."
Family of the victim rushed from the courtroom after sentencing. They did not speak to the media.
Meanwhile, Cardenas was immediately transferred to the custody of the state prison system.