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Gilbert man sentenced to 25 years for murdering wife

Mark-Eric Ponsati was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for the 2017 murder of his wife.

GILBERT, Ariz. — A Gilbert man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him of murdering his wife in 2017.

Mark-Eric Ponsati, 42, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Sherri Ponsati. 

Ponsati initially told Gilbert police his wife slipped in the bathroom of the family's Val Vista Lakes home on Sept. 7, 2017. But investigators found evidence that contradicted the husband's story.

Sherri sustained several fractures to her skull and ribs, which investigators determined could not have been caused by a single fall. 

After the criminal case dragged on for more than five years, Ponsati was convicted at trial and given the maximum prison sentence.

“I have been waiting for 5 years and 8 months to speak about my precious daughter. The pain is indescribable, especially when I heard about all the injuries she received,” Sherri's mother wrote in a statement during Friday's sentencing.

The 33-year-old victim was described as an adoring mother who loved nature and animals, according to her obituary.

*Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast.*

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How big is Maricopa County?:

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.

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