December 22, 2014

Elyria
Intermittent clouds
24°F
test

Dembie sentenced to 20 years to life for wife’s slaying

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A member of Holly Dembie’s family angrily tried to charge her killer just before William Dembie Jr. was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Other family members were able to restrain the man and force him out of the courtroom of Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski.

Dembie was convicted of murder and other charges in the case following a two-day trial earlier this month.

Cherly Foldes, Holly Dembie’s mother, called William Dembie “evil” and a “monster” for killing his wife rather than ending their estranged marriage as her daughter had wanted.

“She died in fear and hopelessness,” Foldes said of her daughter’s unheard calls for help as William Dembie stabbed her to death in August 2011.

“I can’t understand how and why I did what I did,” Dembie said later during a lengthy speech.

Dembie went after his wife with a KA-BAR combat knife during an argument at the Grafton Township home. She tried to flee out a second-floor bathroom window and fell to the ground outside. Dembie told deputies he went outside and killed her before calling to report he had almost beheaded her.

Dembie said he hadn’t planned to be alive when deputies arrived. But he stopped short of getting a pistol after thinking about his children.

He said living rather than committing suicide was the harder choice.

Read Tuesday’s Chronicle for more on this story.