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Montana woman gets 100 years, killed man in custody dispute

March 2, 2021 GMT

THOMPSON FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A western Montana woman was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend, with whom she had an ongoing custody dispute over their daughter.

District Judge Kim Christopher sentenced Danielle Wood of Polson. She maintained her innocence, the Daily Inter Lake reports.

Wood, 56, was found guilty in January of the May 2018 killing of Matt LaFriniere of Thompson Falls.

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Prosecutors said Wood bought a gun less than two months before the killing and used a burner phone to try and draw suspicion away from herself.

“This wasn’t a crime of passion,” Department of Justice attorney Stephanie Robles said in arguing for the maximum sentence.

Wood left a residence while hosting a party to sell cooking gadgets on the evening LaFrienere was killed, witnesses said.

“Danielle planned this all out,” said George LaFriniere, the victim’s father. “She’s a pathological manipulator and she put her own son and her boyfriend up as possible suspects.”

Public defender Greg Rapkoch argued for the minimum sentence of 10 years.

“Danielle still maintains her innocence,” he said.