Emotions run high at Guilford sentencing

James Guilford

It was an emotional day in Onondaga County court today as James Guilford was sentenced for murder. Guilford will spend the next 25 years to life in prison for murdering Sharon Nugent in 2007. He was convicted earlier this month by an Onondaga County jury.

The couple lived with their three children at a home on Genesee Park Drive in Syracuse until Nugent disappeared last year. Prosecutors say Guilford tossed her body in a dumpster. Nugent's remains were never found, but police compiled a lot of evidence, including a bloody hammer and blood in the bedroom.

In court today, Nugent's mother, Patricia Alexander confronted the man who took her daughter away. Alexander says she's left with a gaping hole in her heart, aching for just one more day with her daughter. Choking back tears, Alexander shared her anguish and pain. She spoke of the huge void left in her life that will never be filled. "I miss her so much that I can't truly express it," Alexander said. "All of our lives have been changed dramatically by the actions of a cruel and unremorseful individual."

The couple had three children together, ages 9, 8 and 4. They're now left behind to make sense of something so senseless. "That's one of the many tragedies of this case. Their father will be in prison for the rest of his life and their mother will never be with them," said Senior Assistant District Attorney Robert Duncanson.

Patricia Alexander says her heart is filled with eternal pain. Now, she'll try to raise her daughter's three children, but realizes their lives will also never be the same.

James Guilford had nothing to say in court as he headed off to prison today. In court, Judge Joseph Fahey said he recommends the Department of Corrections never consider parole until Guilford reveals what happened to Sharon Nugent's body, giving her family the chance to bury Sharon once and for all.