Hawaii-based soldier sentenced to 62 years for killing wife

HONOLULU (AP) — A military judge sentenced a Hawaii-based soldier to 62 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to premediated murder for brutally beating and stabbing his wife.

The Army’s prosecutor sought the full 65-year term for 24-year-old Spc. Raul Hernandez Perez, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday. The plea agreement called for a sentence of between 50 and 65 years.

Hernandez Perez admitted he bashed his wife, Selena Roth, on the head four times with a baseball bat as she slept in her home on the Schofield Barracks base and then stabbed her in the back four times to make sure she was dead.

Roth, 25, was an Army veteran and mother of a daughter who was then 1.

Army prosecutor Capt. Benjamin Koenigsfeld noted Roth was viciously bludgeoned, stabbed and dumped into a trash bin that had been wheeled into the foyer of her home.

Hernandez Perez also pleaded guilty to violating an order from his command not to have contact with his wife.

Defense attorney Capt. Brian Tracy asked the judge to sentence the soldier to 50 years, saying Hernandez Perez was a then-23-year-old “pushed to the brink” who “felt boxed in.”

From the witness stand, Hernandez Perez apologized to Roth’s family.