A Fairfax County, Virginia, jury found a husband guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the 2017 slaying of his wife inside their Mantua area home, a crime prosecutors said he tried to cover up by placing a gun in his wife's hand and shooting himself.
Laszlo Pentek, 55, was sentenced to 39 years in prison in the killing of Donna Pentek, 51. A judge can lower that sentence or keep it, but not increase it when Pentek goes for final sentencing on December 13.
Fairfax County prosecutors contended during the seven-day trial that Laszlo Pentek grew angry after finding documents detailing his wife's bankruptcy and then shot her in bed as she napped on the afternoon of January 6, 2017. Their theory was that he then placed a gun in her hand and shot himself to make it look like an altercation occurred and she had committed suicide.
Soon after, the couple's daughter came home and discovered her mother shot in the head and her father suffering from a gunshot wound in a bathtub and called 911.
A two-year investigation followed as detectives meticulously pieced together forensic evidence to build a circumstansial case against Pentek, who was charged in February.
Defense attorneys argued the forensic evidence did not fit the prosecution's version of events and suggested Donna Pentek shot herself. They said she had become increasingly isolated and was passed over for a promotion before her death.