Summarized by Kent Larsen
Falater gets life sentence in wife's killing
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 11Jan00 D2
By Victoria Harker: Arizona Republic
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- Former LDS High Councilor Scott Falater was
sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole
yesterday for murdering his wife. Falater was convicted last June for
stabbing his wife 44 times and drowning her in the family swimming
pool. The case gained notoriety nationwide in the U.S. for Falater's
claim that he was sleepwalking during the murder.
Falater, 44, didn't react to Judge Ronald Reinstein's sentenced, and
in an interview later with the Arizona Republic, he said he will
appeal the conviction. But he also recognized that even if his appeal
is successful, he will spend a long time in prison. Falater said he
will make the best of his time in prison, providing a good example for
other prisoners, "I'll have hours with these guys," he said. "Almost
like a big brother setup."
Judge Reinstein said that Falater's exemplary lifestyle and the fact
that his children had forgiven him as the main reasons why Falater
wasn't given the death penalty. His children specifically asked the
Judge to let Falater live. But Reinstein also passed up the
opportunity to sentence Falater to life in prison with parole possible
after 25 years.
The Judge told Falater in court that his children's statements were
among the most compelling material presented in favor of letting him
live. "Megan and Michael testified about their happy family life, the
love and respect their parents demonstrated for each other and the
complete absence of any violence or arguments between their parents,"
said Reinstein, reading from his sentencing verdict.
But Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Juan Martinez said he hasn't seen
any remorse from Falater for his actions. "He's never said he's
sorry," he said. "Remorse requires acceptance of the fact that you did
something wrong. This defendant has never accepted responsibility for
brutally killing his wife. He is still hiding behind this so-called
sleepwalking defense that was not proven at trial."
But Falater said in the jailhouse interview that Martinez had
'manufactured' evidence against him. And, he still expresses optimism
for the future, saying that, after a good life, any further good that
now comes will be "icing on the cake."