David Earl Mead received the maximum prison sentence -- along with the wrath of his inlaws -- Friday for the 1994 murder of his wife.
Mead, 31, who was convicted in the drowning death of Pamela Camille Mead, was sentenced to between five years and life in prison for murder, a first-degree felony, and up to 15 years for solicitation of murder, a second-degree felony, with the sentences to run consecutively.He was also ordered to repay any life insurance money collected from his wife's death plus $10,000 in restitution.
"You deserve everything you have coming," Sinie Stokes, his mother-in-law, said to Mead following the sentencing. "You struck her from behind. You are a coward."
In a prepared statement, Mary Stokes, the victim's sister, said, "Pam was nothing but loving and supportive of you, but she was also naive and easy prey. You disrespected her, you abused her, you used her and you ultimately took her life."
Mead, who has denied the accusation ever since it was first leveled against him in a civil wrongful death lawsuit two years ago, maintained again on Friday that he was innocent.
Speaking to 3rd District Judge J. Dennis Frederick, Mead said, "I am pleading not guilty to these charges. I am not willing to plead down. I have suffered as well. I lost my wife. . . . There is no one who mattered more in my life than her."
Mead also told the judge that he hadn't had enough time to work on his pre-sentence report because he was being held on suicide watch in jail and is currently in a mental health unit. That status has impeded consultations with his lawyer, Mead said.
Mead insisted that he was convicted on the hearsay evidence of three biased witnesses, including two "spurned lovers" and a cousin he helped put behind bars for robbery.
Standing across the courtroom from Mead, Sinie Stokes said, "I would just like to ask you why. We accepted you into our family. We treated you like family, and this is how you repaid us . . . because of greed."
Pamela Camille Mead was found dead on Aug. 15, 1994, in a shallow fish pond in the back yard of her Capitol Hill area home. Prosecutors alleged that Mead arranged his wife's death to collect on a $500,000 insurance policy.
One witness, Winnetka "Winnie" Walls, testified she was David Mead's mistress and had threatened to send Pamela Mead a video tape of her and David Mead engaged in sex acts if he did not leave his wife. Mead told her he would take care of the problem by staging a burglary at his house that would result in Pamela Mead suffering a "nasty spill."
James "Jack" Hendrix, David Mead's cousin, testified that about a week before Pamela Mead's death, David Mead sought him out, offered him $30,000 to kill his wife and gave him about $1,000 and 60 grams of cocaine as down payment. Hendrix, however, spent the next two weeks on a drug binge and never made good on the bargain.
An eight-member jury deliberated about three hours before convicting Mead of the charge.