ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Brighton man who murdered his wife with an ax in 1982 was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Monday, the maximum sentence.

Krauseneck was found guilty on September 26 for killing Cathleen “Cathy” Krauseneck on February 19, 1982 on Del Rio Drive in Brighton. Investigators found the 29-year-old in her bedroom, with an ax in the back of her skull.

Early investigations produced Edward Laraby as a suspect after attorneys said he wrote a letter confessing to killing Cathy. However, officials said the letter contained some factually incorrect information. Laraby, who lived five minutes away from the house at the time of the murder, died in prison for unrelated crimes without being prosecuted.

Sara Young, the daughter of James and Cathy Krausencek, said the real killer got away. In court Monday, she said her father didn’t do this. 

“The justice system has failed my parents, myself, and both sides of my family. It has also failed this community,” she said.

Her defense of her father caused a rift in the family. Cathy Krauseneck’s father, Robert Schlosser, addressed James in the courtroom. 

“And Jim, I hope you live to be 100 years old, and enjoy your new home (jail),” said Schlosser.

James Krauseneck pleaded with the judge before sentencing. “I did not murder Cathy. I loved Cathy with all my heart,” he said.

Judge Charles Schiano said he’s lost no sleep over the verdict. “The jurors worked very hard, they were conscientious,” he said.

Judge Schiano gave James Krauseneck the maximum. “A sentence of 25 years in the Department of Corrections to life.”

Afterward, Cathy Krauseneck’s father told the media that this was justice at last. “Everybody told us we couldn’t win a 40-year case, but we did,” said Schlosser.

The case was revisited in 2015, and investigators applied new technology and methodology to determine Cathy’s time of death. Krauseneck was eventually arrested in 2019 after Brighton police said they had no evidence of anyone other than him being at the scene.

According to an early medical examiner’s note, Cathy died between 6:55 a.m. and 8:55 a.m. Krauseneck gave an alibi explaining that he left the residence at 6:30 a.m. to go to work. However, according to officials, her body temperature indicates the time of death could have been earlier than what the medical examiner said.

“Everybody told us we couldn’t win a 40-year-old case but we did,” Robert Schlosser, the father of Cathy Krauseneck, said after the verdict was delivered. “It felt good. We had top investigators and top attorneys.”

Since the September 26 verdict, Krauseneck has been held without bail.