MONTICELLO, Ill. — A 55-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois man in the death of his estranged wife 27 years ago.

Gregory Houser was convicted in July of strangling Sheryl Houser in October 1990 in their rural Mansfield home. Authorities say he then staged a scene in their garage to look like a suicide by hanging.

The News-Gazette in Champaign reports a Piatt County jury also found the 57-year-old Hauser committed a sexual assault during the attack, making him eligible for an enhanced sentence.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Piatt County Circuit Judge Karle Koritz said an aggravating factor in sentencing was that the Housers’ three sons were left alone in the home where their mother’s body was found.

Since the laws of 1990 applied in sentencing, Houser could end up serving about half of his sentence.

Information from: The News-Gazette,

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