SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 54-year-old Lancaster County man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend, even though her body has never been recovered.
In August, a Spotsylvania County jury found James Todd Kessler guilty of second-degree murder and concealment of a dead body. He received his sentence in a Spotsylvania County courtroom Friday morning.
Kessler became the target of a homicide investigation after he was the last person seen with 43-year-old Claudine J. Gifford at a Lancaster bar on July 6, 2014. Gifford was reported missing a day later, but her body has never been found.
Kessler previously turned down an offer of 20 years in prison in exchange for him pleading guilty to murder and revealing where Gifford’s body is.