PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Two families are receiving closure after a Prince William County judge sentenced a man to seven consecutive life sentences for the shooting death of his wife and a rookie police officer.
It’s been three years since Ronald Hamilton shot and killed officer Ashley Guindon, as well as his wife, Crystal Hamilton.
His two-month trial reached its finale on Thursday when he was sentenced.
Thursday’s events were set in motion on Feb. 27, 2016 when officers responded to Hamilton’s residence after his wife called 911 to report a domestic dispute.
Once the officers arrived, Hamilton refused to open the door.
One of the officers kicked the door down, and found Hamilton crouched down with an AK-47.
Hamilton opened fire, striking three officers, including Guindon, who died from her injuries.
Crystal was already dead on the floor after being shot in the back prior to the officers’ entrance.
On Thursday, families asked the judge to “do the right thing” in terms of sentencing – hoping that would mean the death penalty.
The judge eventually ruled to send Hamilton to prison for life without parole.
Prosecutors were disappointed with the verdict.
“It’s just heartbreaking to me,” said Paul Ebert, a prosecutor in the case.
The prosecutor for the Commonwealth says justice has been served, but more should have been done.
“Not every capital case deserves death, but this one in my opinion was at the top of the list,” Ebert said.
Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard said the entire ordeal has been a trying time for the community.
“It’s felt throughout the community. And of course the families and friends are so directly touched and really their whole lives have changed,” he said.
During the sentencing, family members were given a chance to address the court.
Sharon Guindon – Ashley’s mother – described Hamilton as a “coward.”
Sharon Guindon said she “lives a death sentence every day” and that her daughter’s killer “should too.”
Cherry Murphy – Crystal’s mother – talked to FOX 5 outside the courthouse.
Murphy knew problems existed between Hamilton and her daughter.
“When I said I told him if you didn’t want her to bring her back I wasn’t expecting to bring her back in a body bag. I expected to see my child walking. Not laying in a cold place,” Murphy said.
And now she must live her life in agony knowing she’ll never get to see her daughter again.
“It’s hard for me just to get up and start a day without thinking about her. I’ve lost jobs because they couldn’t understand what I was going through hell. Hell,” she said.