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Patterson Receives Life Sentence for Capital Murder Convicti

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EDINBURG – A jury deliberated the punishment for Monica Melissa Patterson, who was found guilty Wednesday night on all charges including capital murder.

She will serve life in prison without parole for her capital murder conviction.

What the jurors decided on is Patterson’s punishment for her other crimes, which will run concurrently.

She will serve 75 years for theft from the non-profit hospice care service, Comfort House, where she was working when the crimes were committed.

The other is for attempted theft of Martin Knell’s estate; she will serve 15 years.

The last is for misuse of fiduciary property for continued theft from the Comfort House, she will serve four years.

Each one with $10,000 fine, that's a combined total of $30,000 she'll have to pay.

Her family took the stand Thursday morning to testify on her character.

First on the stand was her brother, Hidalgo County Court at Law Judge Jaime Palacios, followed by Patterson’s sister and then her mother.

Patterson was a lot more emotional Thursday morning than she was Wednesday night during her verdict; especially as her mother gave a tearful testimony.

The defense used the family’s emotional testimony to ask for the minimum sentences on the theft charges.

They also pointed out that Patterson paid $70,000 back to Comfort House.

Patterson did not address the jury herself.

The state pointed out in their closing arguments that Patterson didn’t pay back any money to Comfort House until after she was arrested.

They had encouraged the jury to think of Knell and his family as they made their decision.

The case is expected to go on to an appeal's court.

As for the capital murder trial for Patterson's co-defendant, Angel Mario Garza, his trial is set for December.

Knell's son told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he forgave Patterson and Garza over a year ago, but feels a new kind of peace – knowing justice has been served.

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