Speaking Wednesday in Ontario County Court, Rebecca Chase said she had treated her sister-in-law, Rose Chase, like a sister. Her parents, Rebecca said, had treated Rose like a daughter.
The statements came shortly before Rose was sentenced to 24 ⅓ years to life in prison after being convicted last October of second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Adam Chase — Rebecca's older brother — in 2012.
"This is unexplainable," Rebecca said. "A person this callous should not be out in society. … She should pay for her choices by serving her life in prison."
Rose, of Stanley, was convicted by an Ontario County jury on the charges of second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child. On Wednesday, Judge William Kocher sentenced Rose to 23 years to life in prison for the murder charge and 1 ⅓ to four years for the tampering charge, to be served consecutively. Kocher also sentenced Rose to one year for the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, to be served concurrent with the other two charges.
The sentencing followed statements given in court by Mr. Chase's sisters, Rebecca and Jessica.
"Rose Chase deserves the maximum sentence possible," said Jessica. "She gave every single one of us in Adam's family a life sentence — a life sentence without Adam."
According to Ontario County District Attorney R. Michael Tantillo, Rose faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the murder charge, and could have received an additional 1 1/3 to four years in prison for the tampering charge.
"I'm generally pleased with the sentence," Tantillo said. "I would have liked to see the maximum sentence, but what Judge Kocher gave her was close to the maximum."
Prior to sentencing, Public Defender Leanne Lapp said that Rose did not deserve the maximum sentence, adding that the evidence in the case showed no signs of premeditation.
"She wasn't a ticking time bomb," Lapp said. " … I ask you not to judge a person on the act she was convicted of alone."
Rose also spoke in court, recalling memories of her relationship with Mr. Chase.
"I cherish his memory, despite what people make me out to be," Rose said, adding, "I am not a bad person."
The verdict in October came after a six-month investigation into Mr. Chase's disappearance, the arrest of Rose in December 2012 and a trial spanning two weeks that included testimony by witnesses that included Mr. Chase's mother Silvia, numerous officers with the Ontario County Sheriff's Office, a forensic anthropologist and Rodney Miller, a private investigator and friend of the Chase family who investigated Mr. Chase's disappearance.
According to the indictment, Rose allegedly intentionally caused Mr. Chase's death on or about June 14, 2012. It further alleged that she transported his body from their Mott Road residence to 4675 Hagerty Road in Potter, Yates County, and concealed it there before ultimately burning the body at that location.
During the trial, the jury viewed an interview of Rose conducted Dec. 13, 2012 by sheriff's office Invs. Lee Martin and John Falbo. In the interview, Rose stated that on June 14, 2012, she and Mr. Chase were involved in what began as an argument and turned into a physical altercation at their home, and that Mr. Chase fell down the stairs. She also stated that she dragged his body to the top of the basement stairs and pushed his body into the basement.
Following Rose's sentencing, Miller described her as "a pathological liar."
"She's a drama queen, and she loves attention," he said. "She's not a victim. Adam's the victim."
Silvia Chase said she is pleased with the sentence Rose received.
"She got what she deserved," Silvia said.