Man sentenced in wife's beating death

December 30, 2009 6:47:27 AM PST
A Waco man was sentenced to life without parole in the beating death of his wife with a hammer. Robert Chavira Espinosa pleaded guilty Tuesday in the May death of his 33-year-old wife, Rosario Moreno. He was charged with capital murder, but prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty if he pleaded guilty. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that during statements from two of Moreno's relatives, Espinosa was asked repeatedly why he had killed her. The 29-year-old replied: "I don't know why." Usually, defendants are forbidden from speaking during victim impact statements. The judge warned Espinosa not to speak at one point, but didn't object later when he spoke. Espinosa's lawyer said his client had mental health issues, but was sane at the time of the offense.