A Wyoming man received 15 years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing another man. Prosecutors say the man, Joseph Mlyniec, shot Robert Irvine III in fear of Irvine exposing his secret of sexually abusing young men.
Mlyniec pleaded guilty last month to the murder of Irvine, 32, in the driveway of his Perry, Wyoming home on 7 March.
Norman Effman, Mlyniec’s attorney, described his client as ‘remorseful’.
‘Robert was a friend of mine for over 10 years, and I’ll have to live with that burden,’ Mlyniec said during the hearing.
Prosecutors said Mlyniec and Irvine previously had a sexual relationship. They further said that Mlyniec, a Perry Town Board member and retired Wyoming County sheriff’s deputy, used this status and power to groom and sexually abuse ‘troubled young men’ for two decades.
‘Robert Irvine was murdered because he threatened to tell the truth,’ Judge Michael Mohun said during the sentencing.
According to prosecutors, they said Mlyniec killed Irvine out of fear that Irvine was a witness of an investigation into the alleged abuse.
‘He took the love of my life’
Irvine’s family and friends were present in the courtroom and wearing matching orange shirts reading ‘Justice for Robbie’.
They acutely expressed their pain during the hearing.
Christina King, Irvine’s girlfriend, called the sentence too light.
‘He took the love of my life,’ she said, and added her sadness for Irvine’s 10-year-old daughter who will now grow up without a father.
Kim Schroth, Irvine’s older sister, meanwhile, called Mlyniec ‘despicable’.
‘I hope your demons haunt you for the rest of your life. I hope you never seen the light of day in the free world again. You should be ashamed of yourself,’ she said.
Other family members expressed their wish for Mlyniec to ‘rot in hell’.
When Mlyniec apologized and said he couldn’t say anything, someone in the courtroom shouted out: ‘You’re right, that doesn’t bring him back.’
Mlyniec waived his right to an appeal and also paid $7,884 to cover funeral costs.
H/t: Buffalo News