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A New York man who admitted killing his wife by lacing her coffee with cyanide has been sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

David Steeves of Center Moriches pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Maureen Steeves.

An autopsy found the woman was killed by potassium cyanide poisoning. Prosecutors say her husband had laced her coffee with the lethal substance.

Defense attorney Craig McElwee said the 45-year-old Steeves bought the cyanide to kill himself but "chickened out" and gave it to his wife instead.

Steeves pleaded guilty after prosecutors assured him that his sons would not be in court for the sentencing. The boys, ages 17 and 15, wrote letters to the judge, saying their father deserved no mercy.



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