Ex-Waukegan man gets 55 years for killing wife in Lincolnshire

  • Clarence Weber

    Clarence Weber

Published: 8/12/2010 4:55 PM | Updated: 8/12/2010 5:44 PM

Clarence Weber was sent off to die in prison Thursday.

The 60-year-old former Waukegan man was sentenced to 55 years in prison for the July 5, 2008 stabbing death of his wife, Adelina Weber, in a Lincolnshire hotel parking lot.

The slaying capped a stormy relationship between the two, punctuated by a still-unsolved arson fire in their Waukegan home the day after she moved out and the chilling statement in her request for an order of protection against him.

"He said he will report me to immigration if I do not go to marriage counseling with him," Adelina Weber wrote. "He said I must say yes to him or he could snap."

She filed for divorce July 1, 2008, and police said Weber lured her to a meeting in the parking lot of the Springhill Suites, 300 N. Marriott Drive, after she left her job at a nearby restaurant.

Witnesses told police they saw the couple arguing in Adelina's car, and she staggered in to the hotel lobby asking for help after her husband stabbed her.

Weber then took his wife's car and fled the area but police tracked him through the use of his automated teller machine card.

He was spotted at a truck stop near Crown Point, Ind. two days later, but walked away before police could close in.

A massive manhunt was launched, including police helicopters and airplanes, and Weber was caught the following morning walking along the side of a road.

Adelina's murder was not the first time Weber attacked a woman he was married to.

During one month in 1989, he twice tried to kill his then-wife in Florida. He held a knife to her throat and choked her into unconsciousness on one occasion and tried to blow up her house with a stolen propane truck in the second.

He served seven years of a 19-year sentence for those crimes and moved to this area shortly after his release.

Adelina's sister Cynthia Trujillo of Waukegan said the loss of her sister has devastated Adelina's three children and the rest of her family.

"I wish we could stop time to make her one last promise," Trujillo said in her victim impact statement to the court. "That promise would be that her children will be safe and she can rest in peace."

Assistant State's Attorney Eric Kalata argued for the maximum 60-year sentence for Weber, who he claimed is beyond redemption.

"With that plunge of the knife, he made orphans of his children and he does not care at all about it," Kalata said. "He is self-consumed, self-absorbed and self-centered."

Assistant Public Defender John Bailey asked Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak for a sentence near the 20-year minimum.

"The Department of Corrections is not a place where people have a long life expectancy," Bailey said. "What we are asking for is some hope, some chance he will eventually be released."

Weber declined to make a statement in his own behalf when offered the opportunity.

Potkonjak said a sentence near the minimum was out of the question in light of what Weber had done.

"One can only scratch his head and say what a waste," Potkonjak said. "What a waste that Adelina is no longer here and what a waste that her children will have to go on without her, simply because of the actions of this defendant."

Weber still faces charges of solicitation of murder for hire for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill the witnesses against him while he was held in the Lake County jail. Potkonjak set a scheduling hearing for that case for Aug. 25.

If convicted, Weber would face another 20- to 60-year sentence.