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Mesilla woman sentenced to prison for death of husband

Published On: Sep 30 2013 11:21:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 02:15:16 PM CST

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

A Mesilla woman will spend two years behind bars for the death of her husband.

A district judge sentenced Kemberlee Guffey, 45, on Monday after Guffey accepted a plea deal in August.

Guffey pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

It was an emotional afternoon in a packed courtroom. The sentencing hearing was moved to the largest courtroom in the courthouse. It was nearly full.

The sentencing hearing lasted more than an hour.

Guffey was accused of stabbing and killing her husband, Padraic Guffey.

Padraic Guffey's mother shared some strong words with the court.

"Kem had hated my son for a long time. Kem told him at one time she wished he was dead. All Pad was to her was a money basket for her needs," said Allene Guffey.

When Kemberlee Guffey addressed the court, she painted a different picture.

"Pad's temper always started out where he would break something to scare me," she said.

On May 31, 2011, Kemberlee Guffey called police after she stabbed her husband with a letter opener. Investigators charged her with first degree murder when they heard what she said before the 911 operator picked up.

ABC-7 obtained a copy of that recording where Kemberlee Guffey is heard telling her husband, "Please don't send me to the cops. Say you fell please. Promise me. Baby, I'm sorry! I have an emergency. Please hurry. I stabbed my husband."

In the courtroom, Guffey claimed she stabbed her husband in self defense after he came home in a rage.

"I just reacted to Pad's actions. I never expected him to die that day. I never expected what happened was even able to happen," Kemberlee Guffey said.

Guffey's 13-year-old son Cooper cried in the front row of the courtroom, listening to everything.

Padriac Guffey died of one puncture wound to the chest, something the defense pointed to as a sign that it was not murder.

"The medical examiner said he'd never seen a homicide exactly in this fashion and how unusual it was. I think that was very significant," said defense attorney Robert Gorence.

Padriac Guffey's mother told ABC-7 she was disappointed with the sentence.

"I would like for it to have been 36 months, but you know if it had been 15 years it wouldn't have made any difference because the pain never goes away. I feel like we did not get justice," Allene Guffey said.

Kemberlee Guffey was sentenced to two years in prison and one year of probation. She walked out of the courthouse today after her attorney requested her surrender be delayed until tomorrow. The attorney told ABC-7 it was so Kemberlee Guffey could get her affairs in order and so her son would not see her in handcuffs.

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