If this was an Asian male killing a white female Yale grad student he'd be sentenced to life in prison.
A Yale research technician was sentenced to 44 years in prison Friday for strangling graduate student Annie Le just days before her 2009 wedding.
Raymond Clark III, 26, who worked as an animal research assistant at the same lab where 24-year-old Le was studying treatments for chronic diseases, had pleaded guilty in March to strangling her after attempting to sexually assault her.
Le, a doctoral pharmacology student and native of Placerville, Calif., was reported missing five days before her wedding to Columbia University graduate student Jonathan Widawsky.
Her body was found stuffed inside a wall of the research lab on the day she would have been married.
Her family recounted the shock of planning a funeral instead of a wedding in an emotional pre-sentencing hearing that even brought Clark's fiance to tears.
"She told me many times how happy she was to start her family," said her mother, Vivian Van Le.
"I will never see her walking down the aisle. I will never hold my grandchildren. I will never see Annie's dreams come true."
"I only see my Annie in my dreams," she said.
Le's brother, Chris Le, testified that since his sister's murder, he has struggled with depression.
"I was in school, now I'm not," Le said. "I never had a DUI, now I do. I never found solace in experimenting with drugs, I did in my darkest moments. I never had to see a psychologist, but I do that now."
Another relative, Ryan Nguyen, told how his younger brother Sean, who was supposed to be the ring bearer at Le's wedding, played with a teddy bear Le had intended to give him on the flight out of New Haven days after her death.
Before handing down his sentence, Judge Roland Fasano told Clark that he'd destroyed the lives of two families and taken the life of a promising young woman.
Clark apologized for killing Le and stuffing her dead body in the wall of the research lab.
"Annie was and will always be a wonderful person, by far a better person that I will never be in my life," Clark said.
"I'm sorry I lied. I'm sorry I ruined lives and I'm sorry for taking Annie Le's life," he said.
Authorities testified that Clark left a bloody crime scene and that he had scrubbed the lab's floors and tried to hide a box of cleaning wipes in an attempt to clean up after himself.
Investigators also recovered Clark's semen at the scene and his DNA on a pen found under Le's body.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2...l#ixzz1OOnTV6ti