Essa was convicted Friday of lacing his wife's calcium supplement capsules with cyanide on Feb. 24, 2005. On that day, Rosemarie Essa collapsed while driving and crashed her SUV into another vehicle in Highland Heights, a suburb adjacent to the couple's Gates Mills home.
He was sentenced this afternoon just after 3 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas courtroom of Judge Deena Calabrese.
Essa faced a maximum sentence of life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 20 years.
At the beginning of the sentencing Tuesday afternoon, the courtroom proceedings were victim statements, from Rosemarie DiPuccio Essa's family and friends.
Her father thanked the prosecutors, the Highland Heights police, the judge and the jury. "We were lucky enough to get a jury that separated the facts from the smokescreen," her father Rocco DiPuccio Sr. said.
Her father said that he and his wife, Gee Gee, were lucky enough to have four wonderful children and they had wonderful lives.
"On Feb. 24, 2005, our luck ran out," he said. That was the day that Rosemarie died. He added that, now that Essa has been convicted, "maybe there will be less nights that my wife cries herself to sleep."
With tears streaming down her face, Gee Gee said, "what do you say to the person who murders the mother of their children."
She paused and continued, "Seven weeks of looking at the devil in the eyes. A murdering coward with no heart, no compassion and no remorse. Evil."
Gee Gee added, "May your life in prison be as miserable as you are."
Rosemarie's brother, Dominic, read statements from Rosemarie and Yazeed's two children, Lena and Armand. Amid tears from Dominic and her other brother, Rocco, he read what the two children had written.
They said they were sad for all the times that they will never see her again, every day and on special days. But there was also one heartbreaking sentence that Dominic read: "Our old Daddy won't be able to hurt us or anyone else again."
Rosemarie's mother Gee Gee DiPuccio said, "What do you say to a person who murders the mother of his children? I spent seven weeks looking at the devil in his eyes."
After her five-minute speech, Gee Gee ended with, "She got you, Yaz, and the Essa curse ends today."
Rocco DiPuccio, Rosemarie's brother, started his statement with "I've had my 'dukes up' for five years and I'm tired."
A few moments later, Dominic DiPuccio turned to Essa and demanded that he finally admit the murder and apologize for the crime.
"Are you man enough? Are you?" said DiPuccio, "stop wasting your brother's money. Are you man enough?"
Yazeed Essa declined to speak on his own behalf.
Calabrese addressed Essa, saying he had "so little respect for women." Also, she said she "hopes (your children) forget you and consider Dominic their father."
Dominic and Julie DiPuccio are raising Rosemarie's two children, in addition to four of their own.
Calabrese also granted the prosecution's motion that Essa pay the extradition cost of $41,000, the amount that taxpayers would be billed for his extradition from Cyprus.
Calabrese sentenced him under the new law that limited her sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
During seven weeks of testimony, Cuyahoga County Prosecutors claimed the former emergency room doctor at Akron General Hospital killed his wife so he could be with one of his many mistresses.
After the trial, Julie DiPuccio, Dominic's wife, told Channel 3's Mike O'Mara that, "He is pure evil. What he has done to our family and what he has done to the children is unforgivable. He is evil."