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Convicted Kalispell killer given 110 years in prison - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Convicted Kalispell killer given 110 years in prison

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"I hope that you can find closure in my conviction no matter what the sentence," Wittal said Tuesday. "I hope that you can find closure in my conviction no matter what the sentence," Wittal said Tuesday.
"This is Wade. This is his ashes, this is what you did to him, right here. He's in a little bottle," said Wade Rautio's cousin, Kevin Peterson. "This is Wade. This is his ashes, this is what you did to him, right here. He's in a little bottle," said Wade Rautio's cousin, Kevin Peterson.
KALISPELL -

Sentencing was handed down to convicted killer Robert Wittal, 29, in Flathead County District Court Tuesday morning. A jury had found him guilty in October of stabbing Wade Rautio, 35, to death in a meth-fueled rage. 

Judge Robert Allison sentenced Wittal to 110 years in Montana State Prison and the  Kalispell man won't be eligible for parole until he's 74-years-old. 

"I can't for the life of me imagine a more gruesome end," said Judge Allison.

"The motives behind this and the way in which it was done, essentially torturing this individual who was running around in the woods at night, begging for his life, and being slowly hacked to death over a period of, I think the testimony was some 20 to 30 minutes," Allison said.

The sentence was handed down following a dramatic morning in court with testimony from Wade Rautio's family.

"My son's gone, I will never get a call from him again," said Wade Rautio's mother, Tomi Rautio.

"I'm never going to know why you did this. But I guess that don't matter. What matters is we have Wade, he's right here with me. This is Wade. This is his ashes, this is what you did to him, right here. He's in a little bottle," said Wade Rautio's cousin, Kevin Peterson.

Wittal's mother took the stand proclaiming her son's innocence and begging Judge Allison not to maximize sentencing.

Throughout the trial Robert Wittal maintained his innocence and right before sentencing he addressed Wade's family.

"I really am sorry for your loss. There is nothing I can do to make it feel better. You didn't deserve to lose Wade. The last time I saw him was not the day that he was murdered, it was a couple of days before that," Wittal said. "I hope that you can find closure in my conviction no matter what the sentence." 

David Toman, 21, Christopher Hansen, 28, and Melissa Crone, 29, have all pleaded not guilty to charges of accountability to deliberate homicide and are expected to go on trial in March for their part in Wade Rautio's death.

Rubio's body was found dumped in a creek near Creston.

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