ELYRIA — The hands that strangled the life out of Wendy Thompson trembled as her family blasted her killer during his sentencing hearing Wednesday.
Beyond the shaking hands — which Robert Thompson Jr.’s attorney said is common for his client — the 43-year-old convicted killer showed almost no emotion as he was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison by county Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers.
But Wendy Thompson’s family, who said they had her name changed back to her maiden name of Mateo after her death, had plenty of emotion.
“You brutally murdered the only person on this earth who truly loved you,” said her sister Ruby Rivera as she finished reading a letter written by her mother, Carmen Delgado.
Angel Mateo, Wendy Mateo’s brother, said after the hearing that he wanted to attack Thompson as he stood chained during the sentencing. He told Thompson during the hearing that he hopes his sister haunts him in prison.
“I hope you hear her screams every night you lay down to sleep and see her face when you close your eyes,” he said.
Wendy Thompson, 40, was found strangled to death at her husband’s West 10th Street home in Lorain after he called 911 and confessed to killing her. An autopsy determined that she had been raped and killed at least 5½ hours before Robert Thompson called authorities on Aug. 18, 2006, and said he tried to revive her.
Thompson told police that the couple had had consensual sex before he strangled her with his belt and hands during an argument about her cheating on him and her plans to leave him.
Mateo and Rivera said their sister always stuck up for Robert Thompson, even though he’d been beating her for years. They said they were disappointed that Thompson, who was also labeled a sexually oriented offender at the hearing, didn’t apologize to them.
But Thompson’s lawyer, Zachary Simonoff, said it wouldn’t have mattered what his client, whom he described as a man of few words, said.
“There’s nothing he can say that will make it better, and anything he says will make it worse,” he said.
Simonoff said his client genuinely regretted the killing and was willing to accept his punishment.
Thompson pleaded guilty earlier this month to aggravated murder, rape and other charges in connection with the killing in exchange for the 24-years-to-life sentence.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.