A New York woman and one of her sons were found guilty Tuesday of killing her estranged husband and pouring acid on his face to make identifying him more difficult before the body was dumped in the woods.
A Rochester jury convicted Laura Rideout, 46, and Colin Rideout of second-degree murder in the slaying of 50-year-old Craig Rideout. The mother and son were also found guilty of evidence tampering.
"This was definitely one of the most heinous cases I’ve seen in my more than 30 years in law enforcement," Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn, who investigated the murder case, said, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. "To see someone so horrendously murder their own flesh and blood is unbelievable."
Alexander Rideout, Laura’s son and Colin’s brother, was acquitted of murder charges but convicted of evidence tampering. Laura Rideout’s 51-year-old boyfriend, Paul Tucci, was acquitted on both charges.
All four were charged with second-degree murder after Craig Rideout’s tarp-covered body was found in the woods in the Finger Lakes region. Prosecutors said he had been strangled and beaten inside his suburban Penfield home on July 20, 2016, while the couple was going through a contentious divorce.
Alexander and Colin are two of the couple’s seven children. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 1.
The verdict resulted in mixed feelings for Agnes Rideout, Craig Rideout’s mother.
“Justice for my son, but those are my grandkids,” she told the Democrat and Chronicle.
Craig Rideout’s mutilated body was found wrapped in a tarp off a rural road in a Finger Lakes town about 40 miles southeast of Rochester. A man stumbled upon it and alerted police. As investigators gathered evidence at the scene, they heard a phone ringing. It turned out to be Craig Rideout’s cellphone, which the killers had overlooked in his pocket. The discovery helped identify his body.
The evidence presented during the three-week trial included video footage from a Walmart where Colin Rideout bought a shovel and four pairs of work gloves on the day prosecutors said Craig Rideout was killed. A day earlier, Laura Rideout and Tucci bought drain cleaner, a tarp and bungee cords at another store.
A shovel similar to the one bought at Walmart was found near Craig Rideout’s body, while four pairs of similar work gloves were found covered with the victim’s blood.
Police initially charged Laura Rideout with evidence tampering after her husband’s body was found. Soon afterward sons Alexander, 20, and Colin, 23, were arrested on the same charges after witnesses told police they saw the brothers throwing a bag with solvents, gloves and drain cleaner into a pond at a suburban Rochester park the day after the slaying.
The mother, two sons and Tucci were later charged with second-degree murder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report