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Carnegie man gets life for killing wife

| Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

Before an Allegheny County judge sentenced him to life in prison for killing his wife, Henry Ricky Lanz told the judge this morning he was innocent and that the accomplice who testified against him was a liar.

"Based on his testimony alone is how I was found guilty. He was lying. I didn't kill my wife," said Lanz, 42, of Carnegie.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning sentenced Lanz to life in prison for killing Paula Lanz, 39, of Scott. A jury convicted Lanz in September of first-degree murder for shooting his wife twice in the head while the couple's two daughters, ages 2 and 5, played upstairs.

he also was convicted of ordering Karl Laughlin to dispose of the body. Firefighters found it five days later in her burning minivan in Nashville, Tenn.

Manning sentenced Laughlin, the prosecution's star witness, to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison, based on his guilty plea to 10 charges including arson, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy. Manning said he gave Laughlin a lighter sentence because of his cooperation with prosecutors and for his testimony during the trial.

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