WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York jeweler who was convicted of murdering his wife — although her body was never found — was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Tuesday.
Werner Lippe was convicted in October of incinerating Faith Lippe in an oil drum after knocking her unconscious with a piece of lumber in October 2008 — even though an extensive police search never turned up the body or the oil drum, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler.
“Faith has gotten the justice that she deserves. The only justice that we could’ve gotten for her,” said Faith’s sister, Dawn Faigle.
Key to the prosecution was a recording made by one of Werner Lippe’s friends, in which the Westchester County jeweler was heard confessing to the crime. Lippe argued to this day the confession was false.
“It’s always difficult to listen and get through a speech of Werner Lippe,” Faigle said.
The jury in the retrial needed just two days to convict Lippe of the murder of his third wife, who was 20 years younger than he. He claimed she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, that he saw her get into a Jeep and leave without her purse or cell phone. Police never bought that story.
Lippe, who made jewelry for Donald Trump and Yoko Ono, made an unrepentant argument for his innocence Tuesday.
“I think Werner helped a lot today. He showed his true colors as a self-centered, guilty narcissist. He dared the judge to give him the max, and she, the wonderful, honorable Barbara Zambelli, gave him back exactly what he deserved,” Faigle family friend Alayne Katz said.
The Lippes were negotiating divorce when she disappeared. They had two teenage children.
Werner Lippe confessed three times to the killing — jurors heard the recordings — but recanted. He testified that he last saw his wife being driven away from their Cortlandt home.
His first trial ended with a hung jury.
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