Watch live:

NH man gets 35 to life for fatally shooting wife

Associated Press
FILE - In this April 27, 2012, file photo, James Perriello arrives at District Court in Newport, N.H. Perriello, who shot his wife to death in a jealous rage as their young son slept nearby, will argue for less than the maximum life sentence prosecutors want. Perriello is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Perriello pleaded guilty Dec. 3 to second-degree murder in Sullivan County Superior Court. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

View photo

FILE - In this April 27, 2012, file photo, James Perriello arrives at District Court in Newport, N.H. …

NEWPORT, N.H. (AP) — At the age of 12, Jill Perriello hid large kitchen knives in a toy box, fearing her father would use them to hurt her mother.

On Wednesday, now 14, she stood in a courtroom and read a letter to her father, James Perriello, before he was sentenced to 35 years to life for repeatedly shooting her mother in the head in a jealous rage. She recalled the night at their Grantham home that forever changed her life and those of her three younger brothers.

"I still hear them: The bangs, the booms, the crashes, the shouts, the words, the shots," she said as her father hung his head. "I see the way the air looked like it was blinking, the reds and blues that still cloud my mind.

"I still feel the chills that flow down my spine, the trembling bodies of my brothers as they snuggled against my body," she said, her voice even. "I remember the tears flowing and the world feeling submerged in water. I remember it all. The thing is, do you?"

James Perriello got the maximum sentence for killing 42-year-old Natalie Perriello, a popular teacher and finalist for New Hampshire's teacher of the year, after learning she was having an affair with a former student.

In a faltering voice, Perriello apologized.

"I had no right to take her away from her kids or her family and her friends," he said.

He showed no visible reaction when the sentence was delivered.

Most of those packed into the Sullivan County Superior Court stifled sobs and pressed tissues to their eyes as Jill spoke. A close friend and colleague, Lebanon High School principal Nan Parsons, provided insight into the fear and abuse that she said haunted Natalie for years.

Natalie fled with her children to Parsons' house one night two months before the April 26, 2012 killing, after Perriello had threatened to kill them all.

"She was apologizing, crying, saddened," Parsons said. "It was another night of unrest for Natalie. She shared her fear that James was going to kill her."

Parsons said she took Natalie Perriello to the police station the next day to apply for a restraining order, but that she couldn't go through with it.

"James had an emotional and physical hold on her that could not be broken," Parsons said.

Natalie Perriello's parents, Bob and Ann LaFlam, said they didn't know the extent of the abuse until after her death. "She wanted to protect us," her mother said. "I wish she had told us."

The LaFlams are raising the four children, who were ages 3 to 12 at the time of the shooting.

The day of the shooting, Perriello had hidden a digital recorder under the seat of his wife's car and recorded a conversation that he told police confirmed she was having an affair with a 20-year-old former student. That night, he kept going between his room at their home and hers, shouting accusations between sessions spent listening to the tape. She begged him to stop but he returned with a gun instead.

The first of eight shots lodged in a window frame above where 3-year-old Max slept in his mother's bed. The second shot hit Natalie Perriello's hand as she lunged for the gun. Perriello fired five bullets into his wife's head before calling 911.

Perriello, 42, pleaded guilty earlier this month to second-degree murder. His lawyers said Wednesday that he learned from the tape that his wife had funneled money his parents lent them to the young man she was seeing. The couple had gone to marriage counseling the day of the shooting, but the recording confirmed for Perriello that his marriage was doomed, they said.

"He was a person that had reached total rock bottom," lawyer Kim Kossick told the judge. She asked for a sentence of 18 to 36 years.

View Comments (413)

Recommended for You

  • Photo of Chicago police officers posing over black man as hunted animal released: newspaper

    (Reuters) - A photo of two white Chicago police officers holding rifles and posing over a black man wearing antlers like an animal killed on a hunt was released by an Illinois court, the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. The news comes amid a national outcry against police treatment of…

  • Racist trolling casts pall over US spelling bee

    Racist trolling on social media is casting an ugly pall over, of all things, the world's foremost spelling bee. For seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage. One of them,…

  • California man drowns swimming across pond with rock: newspaper

    A man drowned on his 21st birthday after attempting to swim across a pond in northern California while carrying a 10-pound (4.5 kg) rock, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday. The California Highway Patrol told the newspaper that Austin Harr was with friends at a pond in the Oroville…

  • Wounded woman testifies in Nevada about trespass killing

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — A female trespasser who survived a shooting in a vacant Nevada duplex testified Wednesday that the property owner entered the unit and opened fire without provocation, wounding her three times and killing a man on the floor next to her.

    Associated Press
  • US threatening 'chaos' in Asia-Pacific: China

    China accused the United States on Thursday of threatening to sow "chaos" in the Asia-Pacific region by inciting countries whose territorial claims in the South China Sea clash with those of Beijing. China is rapidly building artificial islands in the disputed waters, and US Defense Secretary…

  • Putin classifies information on deaths of Russian troops on special missions

    President Vladimir Putin on Thursday declared all deaths of Russian soldiers during special operations to be classified as a state secret, a move that comes as Moscow stands accused of sending soldiers to fight in eastern Ukraine. Putin, who has repeatedly denied any involvement of Russian troops…

  • The Statin Dilemma: a Primer for Patients

    Statins have redefined the treatment of heart disease. Statins work by halting or reducing the buildup of fatty plaque inside blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis, chiefly fueled by abnormally high cholesterol and the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. A true game changer in…

    U.S.News & World Report
  • View

    Balloon animals (15 photos)

    A series of balloon animals have become super-realistic thanks to an artists amazing photoshop talents. Sarah DeRemer, 25, from Los Angeles, uses actual photos of animals faces and coats to give pictures of balloons an animal kingdom twist. She has managed to turn a balloon dog and a butterfly -…

    Yahoo News29 mins ago
  • Baltimore residents fearful amid rash of homicides

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the…

    Associated Press
  • Kansas man missing for 23 years found submerged in car

    By Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - The body of a man missing since 1992 has been recovered from the driver's seat of a car submerged in a Kansas lake, authorities said on Tuesday. Fremont O'Berg, who was 57 when he disappeared, was found alone in his 1981 Chevrolet Citation automobile in…

  • A closer look at those killed in Texas, Oklahoma weather

    At least 21 people have died in flooding and tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas since the start of the Memorial Day weekend. A look at the lives of some of the victims:

    Associated Press
  • Mystery of holes in Swiss cheese cracked after a century

    Eureka! After about a century of research, Swiss scientists have finally cracked the mystery of the holes in Swiss cheese. Experts from Agroscope, a state centre for agricultural research, said the phenomenon -- which marks famous Swiss cheeses such as Emmental and Appenzell -- was caused by tiny…

  • Six reasons so many Republicans are running for president

    When all the announcements are in, the Republican presidential field could have close to 20 candidates – and that’s not counting the fringe. It’s shaping up to be the largest GOP field in modern history. The Republicans have a habit of nominating the “next in line” – that is, someone who ran before…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • To see why Amtrak's losses mount, hop on the Empire Builder train

    By Ernest Scheyder ABOARD THE EMPIRE BUILDER (Reuters) - Its passengers are mostly silver-haired retirees, oil-field workers and a few young families gazing out the windows of Amtrak's least-profitable and third-longest line, rumbling from Chicago through eight states and on to the American West…

  • The Latest: Williams vs. Azarenka next at French Open

    PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open:

    Associated Press21 mins ago
  • French barman sentenced after man drinks 56 shots and dies

    Clermont-Ferrand (France) (AFP) - A French barman received a suspended jail sentence Wednesday after he was convicted of manslaughter for letting a man do 56 shots during a drinking contest that led to his death. Renaud Prudhomme, 56, broke the in-house shots record last October at Starter, a bar…

  • These are the States That Have 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

    The story begins in February, when Cody Devine, 34, and Janai Wilson, 29, apparently went, without permission, to a vacant rental property near Reno, Nevada, owned by Wayne Burgarello. The case is an important reminder about the debate over Stand Your Ground laws. Thirty-three states have adopted…