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'I accept my punishment': St. Marie sentenced to life in prison without parole

Antonio St. Marie was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release in connection with the Nov. 7, 2016 death of his estranged wife, Margaret St. Marie, in Wadena County court. Submitted photo

Life in prison without the possibility of release.

That was just one of the sentences handed down by Judge Robert Raupp Thursday afternoon to convicted murderer Antonio Eugene St. Marie. He was found guilty on seven counts including counts of first-degree murder and kidnapping on Jan. 19 for the crime he committed on Nov. 7, 2016. St. Marie was found guilty of murdering his wife in their Bryant Ave. apartment, just hours after getting out of jail for a domestic assault arrest. He fled the scene after shooting his wife and crashed head-on into another vehicle. He later testified that it was an attempt at suicide.

St. Marie was originally charged with nine felony counts. Those included: three counts of first-degree murder with intent, while committing a felony, one count of first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse - with a past pattern of domestic abuse, and one count of first degree murder, premeditated, as well as; two counts of second-degree murder, with intent, not premeditated and while under restraining order for protection; one count of kidnapping and one count of a felon in possession of a firearm.

Two of the nine counts against St. Marie were dismissed Jan. 18 - Count No. III (tampering with a witness) and Count No. IV (aggravated robbery). Then on Jan. 19 morning he agreed to being guilty of a felon in possession of a pistol; guilty to manslaughter of his wife Margaret St. Marie and guilty of false imprisonment of James Flath Jr.

Before Judge Raupp pronounced St. Marie's sentence, a victim impact statement was read by Wadena County Attorney Kyra Ladd on behalf of Margaret's mother, Marilee Longmuir.

"Life will never be the same without my beautiful girl, and all I want to know is why," read the statement. "She's now free and our guardian angel," the statement continued."

Raupp gave St. Marie an opportunity to speak before sentencing.

"Nov. 7 was a terrible, terrible day. Saying 'I'm sorry' doesn't do it justice. It pains me every day . . . I'm truly sorry for taking away the mother of my children. I accept my punishment," St. Marie said.

At the March 22 sentencing, Judge Raupp accepted the state's recommendation to life without the possibility of release on Count I - Murder in the First Degree (premeditation). This count will be served consecutively with Count VIII - Kidnapping. St. Marie was handed 45 months for this count, of which he must serve at least 30 months.

Raupp also sentenced St. Marie to 60 months in prison for Count IX - Possession of a Pistol by a Prohibited Person. St. Marie must serve at least 40 months of Count XI, which will be concurrent to Count VIII.

On Count VI and Count VII - Murder in the Second Degree (intentional) and Murder in the Second degree (while restrained by a no contact order), respectively, the judge accepted the State's recommendation of no convictions for these charges, noting the jury found him guilty on those charges.

Finally, on Count II, Murder in the First Degree (while committing kidnapping), and Count V, Murder in the First Degree (while committing domestic abuse), the judge accepted the recommendation of no formal adjudication, noting the jury found St. Marie guilty on those counts.

Ladd informed the judge that St. Marie had 500 days of jail credit for the charges.

St. Marie was also ordered to pay restitution to the Minnesota Crime Victims reparations Board of approximately $7,500. And restitution to James Flath, Sr. of approximately $6,300.

Restitution to Longmuir and James Flath, Jr. is pending. They have 30 days to file paperwork for restitution.

St. Marie had separate charges of probation violation and domestic assault. The domestic assault charge was dismissed Thursday and the St. Marie was given 18 months for the probation violation charge. He received a jail time credit of 646 days for that charge.