Cody Johnston will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of Nicole Waller.
The Sidney Herald reports that Johnston was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison, with another 10 years for tampering with physical evidence.
Johnston was sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Best of the 8th Judicial District Court.
It took just over two hours in October 2016 for a jury to find Johnston guilty of killing Waller in 2013, according to a Richland County District Court clerk.
Jurors determined that Johnston killed Waller during a visit she made from Kalispell to see him at his home near Sidney. Prosecutors believe the murder occurred on Valentine’s Day.
Waller, a mother of two, had told her ex-husband and sister that she would return home on a specific day, but she never returned. Waller was reported missing by her family after she did not return home as planned.
After she was reported missing, investigators spoke with Johnston’s friends and Waller’s family. Waller’s sister told authorities that Waller and Johnston had a volatile relationship.
She added that Waller had recently learned that Johnston was cheating on her with another woman. That woman later told authorities that she had given Johnston an ultimatum to break of with Waller and that he had promised he would, according to court documents.
Friends of Johnston’s reported that he had exhibited strange behavior in the days following Waller’s disappearance.
One friend told detectives that Johnston had asked him to move Waller’s vehicle to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation as a prank, because Johnston said he’d found out Waller was cheating on him and he wanted to get back at her.
Another friend of Johnston’s said he was asked for help accessing Waller’s Facebook account to send messages to her family that she is ok but would not return home to Kalispell.
Another acquaintance reported that Johnston had asked him for barrels with lids, but said he did not have any to give Johnston.
Waller’s vehicle was later recovered in Poplar. The keys were found in the vehicle.
Waller’s body has not been found.