Judge sentences Rideouts in 'one of the ugliest things I've ever seen'
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - In what turned into an ugly and emotional hearing, the estranged wife of a Penfield man and two of the couple's sons were sentenced Friday afternoon for their roles in his murder in the summer of 2016.
Laura and Colin Rideout were given the maximum possible sentences for second-degree murder and tampering with evidence charges - 25 years to life and 1 1/3 to 4 years, respectively. Laura was also given the maximum sentence for a burglary conviction - 15 years. Those will run consecutively, back to back, instead of concurrently.
Alex Rideout was sentenced to 1/3 - 4 years in state prison for two counts of tampering with evidence. His sentences will be served consecutively.
Laura and Colin were convicted back in July after Craig Rideout was killed in the basement of his Fairport home. Alex was acquitted of murder but found guilty on the tampering with evidence charges.
In July 2016, Craig's body was found, wrapped in a tarp and disfigured by acid, in a wooded area in Jerusalem, Yates County.
Laura's boyfriend, Paul Tucci, was tried for murder and tampering with evidence but was acquitted of all charges.
Laura and Colin each face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. Alex faces 3-8 years in prison for his convictions on two counts of tampering with evidence.
Craig Rideout was declared missing after last being seen on July 19, 2016. His body found found two days later in that Yates County area, and was later linked to his soon-to-be ex-wife burglarizing his townhouse. Court paperwork showed Laura had "concealed, altered, and/or destroyed blood evidence of a murder by knowingly cleaning the affected areas with cleaning solvents."
Laura, Alex, and Colin were arrested in connection with the homicide. A few days later, Tucci was also arrested in connection with the investigation. All four were indicted on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in December.
Court papers indicate Craig was strangled in the basement of his Penfield home by a cord wrapped completely around his neck.
Fewer than eight hours before the discovery of Craig Rideout's body, security cameras caught Laura Rideout and Tucci entering the Walmart on Hudson Avenue. Electronic receipts show they purchased a 24 foot tarp, bungee cords, bug repellent, and a Diet Coke. A DNA sample matched the Diet Coke bottle found in the basement to Laura.
Colin and Alex were accused of trying to get rid of a bag with gloves and drain cleaner. Investigators claim the brothers bagged up the items, went to Mendon Ponds Park and dumped at least one of the bags into Devil's Bathtub in order to hide it from the police.
Opening arguments for the trial began on June 26, 2017. The trial lasted for more than four weeks, with prosecutors laying out mountains of physical evidence against the defendants and defense attorneys trying to cast suspicion on various other parties.
The jury was comprised of eight women and four men and had to render individual verdicts for all four of the defendants. They deliberated for four days before delivering their verdicts convicting Laura and Colin of murder and tampering with evidence, and Alex of tampering with evidence. Tucci was acquitted on all charges.
After The Verdicts
Two days after the verdicts were handed down, Tucci sat down with 13WHAM News to talk about the case and the trial. He continues to defend Laura, saying that she is a "good person" and "didn’t mastermind anything.”
When asked about evidence not admitted at trial, including a statement from Colin not allowed at trial in which he told investigators his mother told him to get rid of the evidence and made him clean up blood, Tucci defended Colin, calling him a scared little kid.
“The statement is false across the board,” Tucci argued. He added, “That statement throws everyone under the bus.”
The full interview can be seen here.
Three of the 12 jurors sat down Thursday night ahead of the sentencing hearing to discuss what they talked over and decided in that jury room after sitting through the Rideout trial.
Regardless of the duration of the sentences, each of the Rideouts is likely to file an appeal to their convictions.
13WHAM News will stream the verdict live on 13wham.com and Facebook Live.