Massachusetts Man Who Murdered His Elementary School Teacher Wife Sentenced to Life in Prison

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A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife.

Andrew MacCormack, 31, was convicted last month for the 2017 slaying of his wife, Vanessa Masucci, 30, at their home in Revere — while their 1-year-old daughter was home.

On Monday, MacCormack appeared in Suffolk Superior Court to hear his fate of life behind bars without parole, the automatic sentence for a first-degree murder conviction, The Boston Globe reported.

While MacCormack spoke in court on Monday maintaining his innocence, several of Vanessa’s family members also addressed the court with victim-impact statements, saying they believed it was he who killed their beloved daughter and sister.

“The pain of losing Vanessa is so deep,” said Karen Masucci, Vanessa’s mother, adding that her granddaughter “had her mother ripped away from her by the monster who was supposed to love and protect her.”

Vanessa’s sister, Angela Masucci, said tearfully that her niece once asked her in the car if she could “drive to heaven so she could see her mommy.”

Vanessa’s father Vincent Masucci added, “I will cry about the pain she was in those last moments when I wasn’t there to help to protect her like I promised I would do when she was growing up,” according to footage from the sentencing shared by local ABC station WCVB 5.

“No one in this world ever did or ever will love Andrew as much as Vanessa did,” Karen added in her powerful statement. “And he repaid that love by viciously killing her.”

MacCormack, however, claimed he was innocent.

“I did not murder her. I have never raised a finger to Vanessa and I sure as hell didn’t kill her,” he told the courtroom.

Vanessa, who taught second grade, was found strangled to death with slashes to her neck and a garbage bag over her head, in September 2017. Prosecutors said that after killing his wife, MacCormack withdrew $100 from an ATM, proceeding to spend the money on cocaine, which he purchased with their daughter in the car, CBS Boston reported.

Before reporting Vanessa dead to 911, prosecutors said that MacCormack used bleach to clean up the brutal scene.

MacCormack’s cocaine purchase after committing the murder was reportedly a habit, and one that he and Vanessa fought over on a regular basis.

Text messages between the couple revealed in documents obtained by PEOPLE in 2017 showed Vanessa pleading with her husband for “answers” about their finances.

In one exchange, Vanessa threatened divorce.

“I hate you so much you’ve ruined [our daughter’s] life because she won’t have her parents together,” she said. “I’ll talk to [an agent] tomorrow about listing the house and I’ll look into divorce lawyers.”

The documents also stated that investigators learned from an unknown drug dealer that Andrew allegedly purchased $400 to $500 worth of drugs per week and bought $100 worth of cocaine the afternoon Vanessa was murdered.

It took the jury eight days of deliberation to find MacCormack guilty, CBS Boston reported last month after his conviction.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office could not immediately be contacted by PEOPLE, but District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters on Monday that she hopes the Masuccis can “start the very long journey of trying to find peace” now that the sentencing is over.

“He’s going to claim what he’s going to claim,” Rollins said of MacCormack’s statement of his innocence. “But the jury’s spoken.”

MacCormack’s attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment

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