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Gary Stroud, Ex-Ohio Police Officer, Sentenced To 16 Years For Killing Wife With Hammer

First Posted: 08/09/12 08:36 AM ET Updated: 08/09/12 02:58 PM ET

MENTOR, Ohio -- A former police officer from northeast Ohio has been sentenced to serve at least 16 years in prison in the slaying of his wife - whose body was found wrapped in plastic inside a sleeping bag at their home last fall.

Gary Stroud, a 58-year-old former Lake County sheriff's deputy and Mentor police officer, had pleaded guilty to last month to charges that beat his 53-year-old wife, Diane, in the head with a hammer. Then he wrapped her body and left it in the garage of their home.

At the sentencing Wednesday, Stroud said he loved his wife and was recovering from a head injury due to a stroke when he killed her. He also apologized to his children and the police agencies.