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Judge gives Chesterfield killer 2 life prison sentences

Posted at 3:48 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 17:37:38-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Joshua Federico, the Chesterfield man who murdered his estranged wife's boyfriend, received two life prison sentences Thursday in Chesterfield court.

In August, a jury convicted Federico of seven charges, including the first-degree murder of Lawrence Howell, the attempted murder of his estranged wife, Sarah Federico, aggravated malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony first and second offense.

The same jury recommended Federico get two life terms, plus 43 years in prison for the August 2018 crime. The judge agreed and Thursday handed down the formal sentence.

The Crime

Howell’s remains were found in a burn pit on Federico’s farm days after the August 23, 2018 murder. Prosecutors said Federico used tires in an attempt to “cremate” the body.

Sarah Federico testified she woke up August 23, 2018 and watched Howell stagger into the house, collapse, and die.

Moments later, she said Joshua was in the house and fired one shot, hitting her in her right arm.

Sarah testified Joshua said he wasn't going to kill her, but that he was going to make it look like she and Lawrence had shot each other by making her scratch Lawrence his face and fire a gun with her left hand.

A short time later, she said she was shot again.

It was just after 3 a.m. when Sarah said she ran out of the house and made her way to a neighbor. While on the neighbor's deck, she was shot in the back.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.