Convicted wife-killer Brian David Hummert did his best to convince a judge to set aside his first-degree murder conviction, alleging misconduct by police and prosecutors, claiming jurors prejudged his case and asserting his innocence.
Reading from a lengthy statement, he claimed chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker railroaded him "because he wanted another notch on his counting stick."
Twice before, Hummert's claims of prosecutorial misconduct won him new trials. But this time, Common Pleas Judge John C. Uhler was unimpressed.
"The third time was not the charm," Barker quipped after Tuesday afternoon's sentencing hearing.
Uhler sentenced Hummert to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional six to 48
"He's entitled to his rant," Barker said outside the courtroom, noting that Hummert's words showed his true character.
'He's a murderer': "It's everybody else's fault -- not his own," Barker said. "But the jury saw through it twice. He's a murderer."
Defense attorney Merrill Spahn declined comment as he left the courtroom. He made no allegations of misconduct during the hearing.
On May 22, jurors took 45 minutes to find Hummert, 56, of Fairview Township, guilty of first-degree murder and hindering his own apprehension or prosecution. That's 15 minutes longer than a previous jury took to find him guilty of the same charges in 2006.
Errors made: But that verdict was overturned, as was Hummert's original guilty plea to third-degree murder. In both cases, Uhler determined former prosecutor Chuck Patterson made errors that made it necessary for Brian Hummert to receive new trials.
Uhler didn't directly respond to Brian Hummert's claims of prosecutorial and police misconduct on Tuesday. But he did note Brian Hummert admitted to strangling his wife of 22 years in the Boeing Road home when he initially pleaded guilty.
Body moved: Police said he put his wife's body into her Land Rover, drove it to the Giant Food Store parking lot in Fairview Township and abandoned it.
The 48-year-old woman's body was found inside the vehicle on March 21, 2004.
During the police investigation, Brian Hummert sent letters to police and a newspaper reporter. Those letters claimed to be from a serial killer named "John" who took responsibility for the killing and stated Brian Hummert was innocent.
Also on Tuesday, Uhler ordered Hummert to pay $3,805.82 in restitution to Charlene Hummert's mother, Mary Meyer, apparently for funeral expenses.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.