Here's the article:
September 23, 2005
Ex-Pharmaceutical Executive Sentenced to 8 Years in the Beating Death of His Wife
By JONATHAN MILLER
A former professor and pharmaceutical executive who was found guilty of beating his wife to death and then staging a car accident to cover it up was sentenced on Thursday to eight years in prison.
Prosecutors had argued that the former executive, Jonathan W. Nyce, 55, who founded and headed his own company, should get the maximum, 11½ years, for killing his wife, Michelle Nyce, 34, when he slammed her face into the floor of their garage in Hopewell Township nearly two years ago. On the night of her death, Mrs. Nyce had just returned from having a tryst with her landscaper in a motel.
In July, a jury here in State Superior Court of Mercer County found Mr. Nyce guilty of passion/ provocation manslaughter, a lesser crime than murder, the original charge.
"We're very, very displeased with the sentence," said Doris Galuchie, an assistant prosecutor, in an interview after the hearing. "We think it's far too lenient. He never ever accepted a shred of responsibility for his actions."
The day was fraught with drama, tears and accusations. Prosecutors said that Mr. Nyce had been dishonest from the beginning of the case, and they insisted that he should be punished for it. Michelle Nyce's family lamented their loss. The judge attested to what he saw as Mr. Nyce's otherwise good character but said he was troubled by the defendant's "dissembling."
As for Mr. Nyce, he made his first extended public comments since his wife was found in the middle of a creek behind the wheel of her S.U.V., her head bloodied and split, in central New Jersey on a snowy morning in January 2004.
"I love Michelle with all my heart," he said as he stood in an orange inmate jumpsuit, chains dangling from his shackled wrists and ankles. "I still love her." He paused and sobbed. "I loved her with everything I could. I supported her in any way I could."
Mr. Nyce said he cashed in half his pension and took a second job so he could buy property and build new homes for his wife's family in the Philippines. He said he sent food and developed a playground there.
The Nyces were the parents of three young children, two boys and a girl, who are now living with Mr. Nyce's brother in Pennsylvania. Mr. Nyce had started and had run EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals, but his hopes for a revolutionary asthma drug were dashed and he was forced out of the company.
Prosecutors argued that Mr. Nyce might not have been the doting father he had portrayed himself to be.
"He wasn't saving lives," Ms. Galuchie said. "He was an unemployed father who was, quite frankly, taking an interest in his children for the first time."
Mr. Nyce erupted. "That's too much!" he shouted. He glared at Ms. Galuchie and moved forward in his seat. His lawyer, Robin K. Lord, clasped his shoulder. "That's too much, your honor," he repeated.
A few moments later Ms. Galuchie said, "This man didn't even pay for his own wife's funeral."
Mr. Nyce again shouted from the defense table: "I was in jail! Jesus!"
Larissa Soos, a friend of Michelle Nyce, said that she "had to do everything herself and was lonesome at times." Ms. Soos added, "She died so young and so tragic, and she never had a chance to say good-bye."
Judge Wilbur H. Mathesius said he had taken Mr. Nyce's character and history into account in his sentencing. "Much of what Jonathan Nyce did in his life was good," he said.
But he took issue with the way Mr. Nyce and his lawyer described the events that led to Mrs. Nyce's death. "The term 'accident' in no sense sums up what was eventuated," he said. Mr. Nyce will most likely be eligible for parole in about five and a half years.