Heath sentenced in Newtown cold case

DANBURY — John Heath, the former Newtown resident convicted in October of the 1984 killing of his wife, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 50 years in prison.

Judge Robin Pavia handed down the sentence after about an hour of statements on behalf of Heath and the state, both of which directed the judge’s attention to the 28 years between Elizabeth Heath’s supposed disappearance and her husband’s arrest for her murder in 2012, two years after her body was discovered.

Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray argued for a sentence of the 25-year minimum plus another 28 years. Heath’s attorney, Frank O’Reilly, and members of his family called for the minimum sentence and accommodation for the ailing 70-year-old’s medical needs.

Heath continues to maintain his innocence and intends to appeal his conviction.

“The court’s issue is the jury has found the defendant did commit the crime,” Pavia said before reading her sentence, adding that the jury found Heath had “brutally murdered his wife and presented basically what was a 28-year cover-up.”

Pavia said in court that she will impart Heath’s need for constant medical care to the Department of Correction.

Dennis O'Malley