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Paul Novak sentenced to life in prison

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Albany/HV: Paul Novak sentenced to life in prison
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Paul Novak has been sentenced to life in prison in connection to the death of his wife Catherine back in 2008. His lawyer maintains he is innocent and vows to appeal the sentence. Our Eva McKend has been following this story for us since the very beginning.

MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Judge Frank LaBuda told Paul Novak he will never see the light of day as a free man again before sentencing him to life behind bars.

"Your perfect crime wasn't so perfect," said LaBuda.

The person responsible for strangling his wife, Catherine Novak, torching their home and living life for years afterwards as if it didn't happen is finally seeing the eyes of justice, says the prosecution.

"This calculating sociopath got life without parole which is exactly what the District Attorney asked for, exactly what the case called for and exactly what he deserved," said Steve Lungen, former DA and special counsel for the prosecution.

In the moments leading up to the judge's sentence, the DA asked the court to think of the mother of two.

"She was a community leader, a church leader, a school board member, a mother, a sister and a daughter," said Sullivan County DA James Farrell.

Novak's defense attorney Gary Greenwald said that it was a travesty Michelle LaFrance, Novak's former girlfriend who implicated him, could walk away unscathed and that confessed co-conspirator Scott Sherwood could receive three years for telling a jury what Greenwald says is a false version of events. The DA stands by his decision.

"She had a conscience. She came forward to tell what she knew and when the police went to speak with Scott Sherwood, he had a conscience," said Farrell.

The sentencing marks an end to one of the longest trials in Sullivan County's history.

"Trials don't bring closure to families. That is just offensive. What helps families is when someone who commits a crime like this is brought to justice," said Lungen.

"He couldn't say I'm sorry for what I did if he didn't do it. He can't take responsibility for his actions if he didn't do it," said Greenwald.

Greenwald has already sent a notice of appeal to the court but since the judge has sentenced Novak, he is days away from seeing the inside of a state prison.

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