LIBERTY, Mo. — A Clay County judge sentenced Shon Pernice to 15 years in prison Friday for the January 2009 death of his wife, Renee.
In February 2012, Pernice pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, telling investigators his wife died when she fell down the stairs after he hit her in the head during an argument. He also confessed to putting her body in the trash.
Pernice addressed a packed courtroom during his sentencing hearing on Friday. He said he was sorry about the act he committed. He said he “snapped that day.”
Pernice’s attorney contends that Pernice, who served in Iraq with the Army National Guard, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that his condition was a contributing factor in Renee’s death.
In court on Friday, Renee’s family called Pernice “evil,” “heartless” and “selfish.” They said he has shown no signs of remorse.
Renee was reported missing on January 2, 2009. For years Pernice denied any involvement in her disappearance. Prosecutors first charged Pernice with first-degree murder even though Renee Pernice’s body has never been found. Prosecutors later reduced the charge in exchange for a plea agreement.
In addition to the 15 years for voluntary manslaughter, Pernice was sentenced Friday to two consecutive six-month sentences for two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for driving drunk with his children on July 4, 2009. In total, Pernice will serve 16 years in prison.