A judge has sentenced Clifford Friend to life in prison in the 1994 murder of his wife.
Friend was convicted of second degree murder in July for killing then-35-year-old wife Lynn Friend in 1994 and dumping her body overboard at sea. According to the State Attorney's Office, Lynn Friend disappeared on August 28, 1994, shortly after winning a contentious custody battle with her ex-husband over their son, Christian.
Lynn Friend was planning to relocate out of Florida with Christian, and Clifford Friend had fought the move and vowed to stop it, the State Attorney's Office said. During the lengthy investigation, authorities discovered Clifford Friend and an associate were seen dropping a large package from a boat in the Atlantic by Customs and Border Patrol agents, according to the State Attorney's Office.
Police were never able to find Lynn Friend’s body, despite an exhaustive search, and Clifford wasn’t charged until nearly 20 years later.
Christian Friend addressed the court before the sentencing Thursday saying, “I’m not going into how frustrating it is to hear how I’ve become a good person in spite of my father, because he is the best person I know.”
Lynn Friend’s former fiancé, Ed O’Dell, pulled no punches on what he thought the sentence should be.
“I think he deserves the death penalty,” O’Dell said. “I think, quite honestly, that he could be hanged by the neck until he’s pronounced dead.”
Friend has 30 days to appeal his sentence if he chooses to do so.