SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for raping a girl and killing her mother after cutting off his ankle monitor and carjacking them last year.
David Renz, 30, of the Syracuse suburb of Cicero, was given the maximum possible penalty in Onondaga County Court by a judge who said he hoped the sentence would comfort the victims' family. "One day, you will face another judge," Judge Thomas Miller told Renz. "One day when you pass from this earth, another judge will impose a harsher sentence for the absolute evil you committed."
Renz had no visible reaction to the sentence and declined an offer to speak. Earlier, a relative of the victim choked up as he read a statement about the toll the crime took on the family. Renz pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and sex charges in July, admitting that he carjacked the woman and her 10-year-old daughter as they left a gymnastics class at Great Northern Mall in Clay in March 2013. He had cut off the electronic monitoring bracelet he was wearing as a condition of pretrial release on federal pornography charges. He strangled and stabbed the mother as she fought to stop him from raping the girl.
The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes and has not identified the woman to protect the identity of her daughter. Renz was sentenced earlier this year to 30 years in federal prison for possessing more than 11,000 images and 1,100 videos of child pornography.
Federal authorities announced earlier this week that they would not prosecute Renz on a carjacking charge that could have brought the death penalty. If the U.S. Justice Department had decided to pursue the death penalty in its case, Renz could have withdrawn his guilty pleas on the state charges.
Relatives said they didn't want the death penalty case pursued because it would have required the girl to testify. Kathleen Renz told the Syracuse Post-Standard (http://goo.gl/1ZsG7N ) after the sentencing that she prays daily for the victims and was relieved to learn there would be no death penalty. Her son was living with her at the time of the attack.
Reading from a statement in court last July, David Renz described the crimes and said he did not "fully understand" what led him to attack the mother and child. Police said he used an air pistol to force the woman to drive her car to a remote section of the parking lot, where he bound both of them and raped the girl.
The girl escaped after her mother fought back and shouted at her to bolt from the car. She was rescued by a passing motorist. Renz was captured nearby a short while later. Among items found on Renz's home computer were more than 500 video files and 3,000 images depicting young girls being raped, according to court documents.
Weeks after Renz's attack on the mother and child, a report by a federal judge found that probation officers failed to do monthly checks on Renz that would have included inspection of the bracelet. Federal probation officers in Syracuse who were monitoring Renz were fired or demoted.