Calling 48-year-old Ronald Epps a "cold, calculating murderer," Federal District Judge Richard Arcara on Thursday sentenced him to 60 years in a federal prison for a series of violent crimes around his execution-style murder of onetime girlfriend Angela Moss in August 2009.
Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec said town police spent years probing the crime, bringing in an array of police and prosecutors to convict Epps.
"This was an execution. It was cold-blooded. It was calculated This man's a predator. All the testimony showed that. The judge even alluded to that today," he said. "This individual's been arrested for heinous crimes 19 times. He's shot other individuals. These types of individuals can't be allowed to be on the street. They put our society and our citizens at risk."
Trial evidence says Moss was executed so Epps could collect on a $100,000 insurance policy, which was never paid out. Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy praised his prosecutors in the case.
"They had to use their creativity in doing so because there was no federal homicide statute that could be charged," he said. "But we were satisfied based upon the evidence that was developed in the course of the investigation that Mr. Ronald Epps in fact did murder Miss Angela Moss."
Moss' mother and sister asked Arcara for the maximum sentence in this case, although 60 years is less than federal guidelines call for in his series of violent crimes of murder, arson and drug dealing.