Kris Zocco sentenced to 31 years in prison for 2013 killing of Kelly Dwyer

NOW: Kris Zocco sentenced to 31 years in prison for 2013 killing of Kelly Dwyer

Updated: 4:56 p.m. December 14, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More than five years after her murder, the man a jury found guilty of killing Kelly Dwyer learned his sentence Friday.

“Our hearts are broken to the core,” Kelly’s father, Tony Dwyer, told Judge Jeffrey Wagner.

Kris Zocco, 43, was sentenced to 31 years in prison, and 19 years extended supervision for the 2013 murder of Kelly Dwyer. In October, a jury found him guilty on all charges for killing Dywer in 2013 during rough sex in his Milwaukee apartment.

“What started out being consensual at one time became an utter disregard for human life,” Judge Jeffrey Wagner said as he delivered Zocco’s sentence. “You ended up choking the life out of the victim for your own self-gratification.”

Friday’s sentence will follow a 19-year sentence Zocco is already serving for unrelated child porn and drug charges.

After Dwyer’s murder, Zocco hid her body on a rural road which wasn't found for more than a year and a half.

“I'm so filled with rage when I think about how alone she was and there was no one there to comfort her,” Maureen Dwyer, Kelly’s mom, said. “That image haunts me every day.”

Zocco did not speak during the hearing, except to his attorneys. At times, he shook his head in disagreement.

“The defendant has at no point expressed any remorse or accountability,” Sara Hill, Prosecuting Attorney, said.”

The defense argued Dwyer's death was an accident.

“It's very clear to anyone that heard the evidence that Kris Zocco and Kelly Dwyer were engaged in a consensual relationship,” Craig Mastantuono, Defense Attorney, said.

However, the judge disregarded the defense’s sentencing request of 22-years and sentenced Zocco to 40 years for reckless homicide, 26 of which will be spent in prison to be followed by 14 years of extended supervision. For the charge of hiding a corpse, Zocco was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of extended supervision. The judge's sentencing decision will leave Zocco behind bars until he’s at least 90 years old.

It's a decision that Hill said left Dwyer’s family satisfied.

“He must suffer as we are suffering,” Tony Dwyer said.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for January.


Posted: 10:00 a.m. December 14, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The man accused of killing Kelly Dwyer during sex in his east side Milwaukee apartment back in 2013 will learn his fate Friday. 

Kris Zocco was found guilty of Dwyer's death in October. 

It's been nearly five years since Kelly Dwyer went missing. A jury of 10 women and two men found 43-year-old Zocco guilty of killing 27-year-old Kelly Dwyer and hiding her body in Jefferson County. Her skeletal remains were found more than a year later. The jury went through the timeline in two weeks and in just over two hours they submitted their guilty verdict on three charges: homicide, hiding a body, and strangulation. 

"I think his history of purchases the phone activity the fact that she's never seen leaving the building and one of those things standing alone would be enough but all of those pieces together or what makes the case so there isn't really any one piece but I think the jury had to understand how they all fit together to reach the conclusion they did," said Assistant District Attorney for Milwaukee County, Sara Hill. 

Zocco faces a maximum of 76 years in prison. He's already serving a 19-year sentence on unrelated charges. 

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