October 25, 2014
MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife of four days to collect a $1 million life insurance policy.
A Miami-Dade County judge sentenced 42-year-old Michel Escoto on Wednesday. He was convicted last month of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Escoto was newly married to 21-year-old Wendy Trapaga when he strangled and beat her to death with a tire iron in October 2002. The beating followed two unsuccessful attempts to fake Trapaga's accidental drowning.
The Miami Herald reports the lead witness against Escoto was his ex-girlfriend, Yolanda Cerrillo. Granted immunity from prosecution, she told jurors she helped Escoto plan the murder. She also admitted driving him away from the crime scene and taking him to dispose of the tire iron in Biscayne Bay.