FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS (KTRK) --A Fort Bend County jury worked late into the night to decide the punishment for a former Missouri City man found guilty of murdering his wife.
Dan Politte was sentenced to 85 years in prison. He faced 5 to 99 years or life behind bars.
The jury found Daniel Politte guilty Monday of shooting and killing his wife Stephanie back on March 11, 2014.
"The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them," said Asst. Fort Bend D.A. Amanda Bolin.
Prosecutors say Dan Politte shot his wife Stephanie in the back of the head, likely as she slept, in her Missouri City home in 2014. He called 9-1-1 after the shooting but never mentioned a gunshot.
Politte's attorneys say he doesn't remember what happened that night. They suggested his wife had a gun and was about to hurt herself and that Dan Politte tried to stop her.
They said after the struggle the gun accidentally somehow went off. But the jury rejected that argument, leaving the defense to ask now for mercy.
"There are circumstances and situations where it might warrant a feeling of mercy in your heart," said Politte's attorney Katherine Scardino.
The defense claimed Politte suffered from "dissociative amnesia", PTSD and depression. Prosecutors say he exaggerated his symptoms and that any psychosis was the result of the murder and didn't exist before it.
Assistant Fort Bend District Attorney Mark Hanna asked the jury to give Politte the maximum.
"It's worth a life, is what it's worth. Not only what does Dan Politte deserve, what does Stephanie Politte deserve? Somebody to stand up for her and give justice to Dan Politte for what he did," said Hanna.
Stephanie was a 29-year-old teacher who worked with autistic children. Her father says she didn't deserve what happened to her.
"He executed my daughter, he snuck up behind her with a revolver with one bullet in it, shot her in the back of the head and then lied about it and he tried to hide it," said Neil Kirkpatrick.
Politte must serve at least 30 years in prison before even becoming eligible for parole.