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Strutz sentenced to 26 years to life for murder, dismemberment of wife

John Strutz (center) with attorneys.  Strutz will serve at least 26 years in prison for murder.
John Strutz (center) with attorneys. Strutz will serve at least 26 years in prison for murder.
C. Enquirer/Gary Landers

John Strutz, 31, received the maximum penalty for 26 years to life for the murder and dismemberment of his wife and mother of his children in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.

Strutz waived his right to a jury trial and left his fate in the hands of Judge John "Skip" West last month and was subsequently convicted murder, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the death of his wife.  Kristan Strutz was reported missing by her husband in August, 2009.  Shortly thereafter, however, evidence began to mount pointing to Kristan's death and her husband's role in her demise.

During their investigation, police met with and interviewed John Strutz.  During one conversation in his driveway, police noticed what they believed to be a part of Kristan's body in the trash can outside of the family's home.  What they saw turned out to be the torso of Kristan Strutz, mere feet from where she and her children slept.

John Strutz continued to deny his role in his wife's death even during his sentencing.  Judge West did not buy his pleas, however, and sentenced Strutz to the maximum allowable punishment, which may be for the rest of his life.

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