Ex-cop Eddy Coello broke down in tears in court Wednesday when a judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison for murdering his wife.
Coello, 41, was convicted Oct. 15 of killing Tina Adovasio after an argument last year. The jury took only a few hours to present a guilty verdict after the two-week trial. After denying guilt for more than a year, a repentant Coello returned to court Wednesday for sentencing.
"I'm sorry for putting you through all the pain," Coello told Adovasio's family. "I take full responsibility and hold myself accountable."
Adovasio, a nurse and mother of four, told friends she feared for her life in the weeks before she was murdered. Her body was found in a wooded area in Yorktown Heights on March 16, 2011, five days after she was reported missing. Police arrested Coello on March 22, the day of Adovasio's funeral.
Adovasio's mother, Adrienne Susco, placed her hand over her heart and cried out when Bronx Supreme Court Justice Ralph Fabrizio handed down the sentence.
"You stole her from us," Susco told Coello later in the hearing.
Prosecutors were aided by testimony from one of Coello's former girlfriends, who said the ex-cop admitted he "snapped" and killed Adovasio. Jurors also heard emotional testimony from Adovasio's oldest son, who described Coello's behavior in the hours and days following Adovasio's disappearance.
Adovasio's son was the first witness on the first day of the trial, and he remained on the witness stand as prosecutors showed footage from a surveillance camera at Adovasio's apartment complex -- footage that showed Coello leaving the building while hoisting a heavy duffel bag. Joseph Adovasio, 18, told jurors he believed his mother's corpse was in that bag.
"That's my mom," he said. "Eddy is walking out of my house with my mom."
The prosecution was also given approval to include Coello's history of domestic abuse allegations as evidence in the trial. It was a domestic abuse allegation in 2000 that cost Coello his job as an NYPD housing cop.
Susco told Coello that the only satisfaction she felt from the trial was knowing the sentence would keep him "from ever destroying another family again."