Acid-bath murderer will die in jail

A biochemist will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing her estranged husband by knocking him out and stuffing him into a vat of acid, possibly while he was still alive.

Larissa Schuster, 47, was convicted in December of murdering her husband Timothy with the special circumstance that the murder was committed for financial gain.

At the time of his death in July 2003, the Schusters were in the middle of a divorce after nearly 20 years of marriage.

Just days after Mr Schuster was reported missing, his half-dissolved remains - intact from only the belt buckle down - were found inside a barrel concealed in a storage unit his wife had rented.

Kristin Schuster, the couple's adult daughter, told the judge in Fresno, California, that she felt safer knowing her mother would be behind bars.

"I've been living for five years not knowing if I would have to worry for my own safety," she said.

"In your quest to become a dominating power freak, you became your own demon. You have hurt me for so many years and probably smiled inside, but look who's smiling now."

At the sentencing hearing for Schuster, the judge also rejected her lawyer's motion for a new trial.

Prosecutors said Schuster and her former lab assistant, James Fagone, first immobilised Mr Schuster with a stun gun and a chloroform-soaked rag.

Then they bound his hands and feet, dumped his body head-first into a barrel while he was still breathing and poured hydrochloric acid on him.

Fagone has already been sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder and burglary.

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