SIOUX CITY | Dana Canfield shook the wooden box holding her husband's ashes in Devery Hibbler's direction.
It had been five years since Hibbler and two other men robbed and shot Tony "T-Bone" Canfield on the front porch of his home. Five long years, Dana Canfield said Thursday morning at Hibbler's sentencing in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.
"Here he is. Here he is right here," Canfield said, waving the box toward Hibbler, who was seated a short distance away. "This is what I wake up to every day and go to sleep to."
Hibbler, 26, of Dumas, Arkansas, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on charges of interference with commerce by robbery and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
Robert Beaver, 35, of Sioux City, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, the statutory maximum, for interference with commerce by robbery.
The sentences, Dana Canfield said, may seem long, but she lost her husband forever.
"Not only did they kill Tony that night, they killed me. Tony was all I had," she said during Hibbler's hearing.
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Both sentences were spelled out in plea agreements between government prosecutors and defense attorneys. If both men had been found guilty at trial, they would have faced the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison, a fitting sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Forde Fairchild said.
But because much of the evidence against both men was circumstantial, a jury conviction was a little less certain, and Fairchild said he wanted to ensure both men went to prison. They also admitted their roles in the crime, he said, and Beaver did not handle the gun during the incident.
Beaver, who has a long history of domestic violence, earning him the nickname "Bonecrusher," turned around and faced Canfield during his chance to address the court and apologized to her.
"I apologize and ask your forgiveness for what I did," he said. "I'm sorry. I can't bring him back, and it's something I have to live with."
Hibbler also said he was sorry.
Beaver, Hibbler and Courtland Clark, 26, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, pleaded guilty in June to going to Canfield's home at 1401 George St. on May 1, 2011, to rob him of marijuana and money he had made from marijuana sales. Beaver beat and held Dana Canfield while Clark and Hibbler robbed Tony Canfield, who resisted and tried to escape from the house. Hibbler shot him once in the head on the front porch.
U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand said he had a hard time accepting the plea agreements, but understood Fairchild's reasons for not risking a jury acquittal. Strand said he believed both men deserved longer sentences, especially Beaver, who by Strand's count had 10 prior convictions for beating numerous women.
"If nothing else, 20 years in prison will save, on average, at least 20 women from being beaten by you," Strand said.
Clark, who pleaded guilty to the same crimes as Hibbler, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.