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Kris Zocco sentenced to 31 years in prison for murder of Kelly Dwyer

Posted: 11:46 AM, Dec 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-14 23:41:15Z
Opening arguments made in Zocco trial

MILWAUKEE -- Kris Zocco was sentenced to 31 years in prison Friday for the murder of Kelly Dwyer.

The 31-year sentence will be followed by 19 years of extended supervision.

Zocco was found guilty in October of killing Dwyer , his girlfriend at the time, and dumping her body.

He was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide, hiding a corpse, and strangulation/suffocation. All three charges were felonies.

"I do think this was an egregious crime in many respects," said prosecutor Sara Hill following the verdict.

She said she hopes the jury's decision brings some relief to Dwyer's family.

"I just know that they're happy with the verdict and that it's been a long time coming for them," Hill said.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney says Zocco killed Dwyer during a sex act in October, 2013.

He’s accused of dumping her body in rural Jefferson County, where a civilian discovered it in May, 2015.

"Kelly Dwyer will never speak to her family again, The defendant caused her death, and we need only prove that he caused it," said Hill to the jury. "Do not reward him for his actions."

Defense attorney Craig Mastantuono told jurors that the state's case was based on circumstantial evidence.

"Despite the tragedy of Ms. Dwyer's demise, it's not justice to find (Zocco) guilty based on conjecture," he said.

Ultimately, jurors decided the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Zocco is already serving a 19-year prison sentence for unrelated drug and child pornography convictions.