FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Southwest Florida man accused of strangling and killing his ex-wife learned his fate Monday in court.
Daniel Proctor pleaded guilty earlier this month to Amy Patterson's murder in 2011 and will serve 25 years in prison. This is on top of the life sentence he's serving on a stolen vehicle and gun charge.
tonight, as proctor sits in a Lee County Jail cell, his ex-mother and father in law are still searching for closure.
"How he could just take and dump her and get rid of her," questioned Ladonna Salehi, Patterson's mom. Her stepfather, Sal Salehi, added, "He was probably the only person to give her true love and she was treated like that."
Their daughter, 41-year-old Amy Patterson gave her love to Proctor. But today wearing a red jumpsuit and shackles, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing her in 2011 then dumping her body near her Bookelia home. Two weeks ago, Proctor pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
"It's been pure hell, everything's changed," said Ladonna.
"All we compare him is to an animal but i think that's not fair to animals," said Sal Salehi.
To help ease the family's loss, Patterson's brother, Dean Guenther, asked that Proctor get life in prison. But a judge accepted a negotiated plea between the state and defense to avoid going to trial.
"We feel that our family has been sentenced to life with the loss of Amy Patterson," said Guenther.
At the end of the hearing, Proctor's attorney made a brief statement.
"He is deeply remorseful for these actions and the poor judgment that he demonstrated afterwards," said Proctor's attorney.
But Patterson's family says after years of abuse, Proctor's apology is worthless.
"He had assaulted her once before, he wasn't remorseful then and he certainly wasn't now," said Ladonna.
All they have left are memories to keep their daughter alive.
"We'll miss her jokes at the table," said Ladonna. "She was the jokester of the family and we'll miss that terribly."
Patterson's stepfather said after the hearing that Proctor deserves the death penalty.
When he confessed to killing Patterson two years ago, he told deputies he was drunk and couldn't remember why he murdered her.