Family of Katie Socci speak at murdererâ??s sentencing, says their â??family will never be complete againâ??

David F. McNamara

David F. McNamara, 36, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend, 29-year-old Katie Socci. McNamara received the sentence on Tuesday morning from Cayuga County Judge Mark Fandrich.

Socci was found in a shallow grave off a wooded trail not far from her Auburn home in June 2011. McNamara was accused of strangling Socci in her home while their daughter Sydney, who was 18-months-old at the time, was in another room. The Onondaga County Medical Examiner said Socci died from asphyxiation.

The parents of Katie Socci spoke before the sentencing. "I now know his [McNamara's] whole goal was to take Katie away from everyone she loved, and everyone who loved her," said Tina Socci, Katieâ??s mother. "My family will never be complete again."

Katie's father, John Socci, said, "I am haunted by what she must have enduredâ?¦ try to imagine the sheer panic of knowing she wouldnâ??t be there when her baby awakened."

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann gave extensive detail about evidence in the case. He said they had evidence showing that the murder was premeditated and that the grave Socci was found in was dug before the day of the murder. Budelmann called McNamara "evil and twisted" and said McNamara sent a friend a text message a day before the murder that read "I'm going to make headlines tomorrow."

Budelmann said McNamara sent hundreds of text messages to Socci with threats. He says they have proof McNamara was stalking and harassing Socci before the murder.

Budelmann said the evidence showed McNamara had broken into Socci's house on the day of the murder and waited for her to come home, before he attacked her. Budelmann added that McNamara callously described the murder to other inmates and at no time showed any shame or regret.

McNamara also spoke at the sentencing. He never apologized directly but said he was "sorry it happened." Without providing any specifics, McNamara vaguely referred to something that happened on the day of the murder that made him lose control.

At one point, McNamara addressed Katie Socci's parents and said "You know what the truth is, you know why this happened."

Outside of court the Socci family said McNamara's inability to take responsibility or show remorse for the crime was not unexpected.

"It shows what type of person he is. He's still going to play games and try to come back at us in some other way," said Tina Socci.

Before the sentencing, McNamara made a motion to withdrawal his plea. In paperwork to the court last week, and reiterated in court, McNamara said didnâ??t understand was 20 to life would mean. Judge Mark Fandrich rejected the motion. McNamara also said that he didnâ??t have enough time to prepare his case, which Judge Fandrich also rejected.

An order of protection was issued to the Socci family at sentencing. McNamara is not permitted to contact them.

"This is what happens when someone tries to leave the grasp of a controlling and narcissistic partner," said Judge Fandrich at the sentencing.

McNamara surprised prosecutors back in February when he admitted to strangling Socci to death, after years of insisting he was innocent.

McNamara was convicted of murder in February and rejected a plea deal.

In November of 2011, while McNamara was considered a "person of interest" in the case, plead guilty to unrelated drug charges. He was sentenced to five years in prison and two years probation.