Tampa - Charles Peoples rambled in court about his life's highs and lows, insisting above all else he'd always been a good husband.
"I ain't never ever hurt my wife, and I been with my wife for 42 years," Peoples told a judge.
But at his sentencing at the Hillsborough County courthouse, prosecutors reminded Peoples how his wife died. Wanda Peoples was killed in a crash on I-75 in November 2010, with her husband drunk behind the wheel. Arrest reports show Peoples' blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit.
They also recalled in court how Peoples was on probation that night, driving on a revoked license, and how he tried to place all the blame on his dead wife.
"Mr. Peoples cut Mrs. Peoples seatbelt and tried to move her to the drivers seat before the police arrived," said prosecutor Barbara Coleman.
Through Peoples' trial and conviction, prosecutors maintained that wasn't out of character for the 60-year-old, who was convicted of his first crime in 1976. Since then, he struggled with alcoholism and addiction and was arrested for dozens of other crimes.
In court, his family expressed their exhaustion through a letter read by a victim's advocate.
"I want you to know that I forgive you and I have asked God for forgiveness on your behalf as well," the letter read.
Judge Gregory Holder did not share in that forgiving spirit, instead sending Peoples to prison for what could amount to the rest of his life.
"Your total prison sentence shall be 25 years in the Florida State prison," Holder said. "Good luck."
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