A Spencer man convicted of beating his wife to death and forcing part of an Easter bunny-shaped dish down her throat was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without a chance at early release.
Patrick Zurkowski has maintained all along that he killed his wife June in self-defense after she came after him with a paring knife. He asked the court to "let him go" during a sentencing hearing, saying there's no need for him to sit in jail for the rest of his life.
But Marathon County district attorney Jill Falstad said it's only fair Zurkowski spend the rest of his life behind bars. She says the maximum sentence was warranted to send a message that domestic violence and homicides will result in the most serious sentence the court can apply.
Family members of the victim also testified during Tuesday's hearing. June Zurkowski's sister Charlotte Hoops asked a judge to put Zurkowski away for the rest of his life. She questioned how he could murder his wife, even though he said in court that he "loved her."
Zurkowski will serve his sentence at the Dodge Correctional Facility.