Emmanuel Gomez, who murdered his girlfriend Charlie Wyrick when she tried to leave him, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Gomez, 31 years old, was found guilty in February of murdering 26-year-old Wyrick in December of 2015.
Prosecutors alleged that Gomez abused Wyrick often during their year-long relationship, which escalated until he dumped her body in Pattee Canyon where she eventually died.
The medical examiner ruled Wyrick’s death a homicide due to stab wounds through the lung and airway, rib fractures, and blood in her abdomen.
She testified that Wyrick did not die instantly, and could have lived for up to four hours after the assault and likely would have survived if she had gotten medical attention.
People who knew Wyrick say she was often reserved when Gomez was around, and admitted that he abused her, going so far to once tell co-worker, "If I go missing, look for my body in Pattee Canyon."
"She would come in to Pattee Creek (Market) with, the first time I noticed it, bruises. She would always wear this blue long-sleeve hoodie, and when she would roll it up to get in the water in the sinks you would kinda see baseball-size bruises, and then on her face a couple times," said friend and co-worker Cory Ortner.
The state’s witnesses, including family, friends, law enforcement, and medical examiners all testified that they believe Wyrick was constantly the victim of domestic abuse, which continued to escalate until her death.
During sentencing on Friday, Judge Karen Townsend followed the state’s recommendation, sentencing Gomez to spend the rest of his life in the Montana State Prison without parole.