An Amish cabinet maker, Samuel Borntreger has been sentenced to 25 years for poisoning his wife with antifreeze back in 2006. It’s a fitting end to a tragic story. In January, Borntreger went to detectives in Barron County, Kentucky where he was living. To their surprise, he confessed to killing his wife, Anna, ten years earlier. At the time of the murder, he was living with Anna and their four children in the Amish community in Bethany, Missouri. He said it was there he began poisoning her with Tylenol. Then he graduated to antifreeze and battery acid over the course of a month until she died. He was poisoning her, he said, because he wanted a new wife and the Amish do not believe in divorce. Immediately upon Anna’s death, he married a woman named Mary, and moved to Kentucky. The couple have four children in addition to the four he had with Anna. Borntreger told deputies he was confessing because “he had been ordained as a minister in his church and this burden had fallen upon his heart and he could not preach to the congregation without confessing to it.”
More than 50 members of the Amish community were on hand to hear Judge Terry Tschannen issue the sentence. Samuel was a well respected cabinet maker in the community. Many had known Anna, and knew she had been sick for some time before she died.
In issuing his verdict Judge Tschannen call the murder a “heinous act”. “She (your wife) trusted you and believed she was safe with you,” the judge said. “You broke that trust when you took her life. And not one place in your confession do you express regret or sorrow. I don’t see the words I’m sorry for what I did,” the judge said.
Mr. Borntreger had originally been charged with first-degree murder, but had pleaded down to second-degree murder with the 25 year sentence. He must serve 21 years before he’s eligible for parole.