ALFRED – When 16-year-old Sabrina Beggs looks into her future, she sees her mother’s absence from the milestones of her life: picking out a prom dress, earning her driver’s license, graduating from high school and college, and getting married.

But one of the hardest things about her mother’s murder, she said, is missing out on everyday experiences like sharing how each other’s day went.

Beggs described her loss Friday in York County Superior Court before her stepfather, Patrick Dapolito, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for murdering 30-year-old Kelly Winslow.

The teenager spoke of how she can’t be alone, how she can’t trust others, and how she needed to talk to her mother about her fears about entering high school.

“I regret that I didn’t talk to her one last time before Patrick took her life,” she said. “I would do anything to get my mom back, even if it was just to talk to her for one last time.”

Dapolito, 42, was convicted in February of shooting his wife in their home in Limington on March 16, 2010. The prosecution described Winslow as a victim of domestic violence, while the defense said she was a casualty of a dispute between Dapolito and associates in his marijuana-trafficking business.

The sentence handed down by Justice John O’Neil was much closer to the 60 years recommended by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese than the 29½ years sought by the defense lawyer, David Van Dyke. Murder carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

Dapolito will appeal his conviction and his sentence, Van Dyke said after the hearing.

O’Neil characterized the killing as the ultimate crime of domestic violence against a woman Dapolito described during his trial as a gentle, passive person.

“There is no baser motivation than to execute a woman you married, when your obligation was to love and protect her,” the judge said.

Among the aggravating factors O’Neil cited were Dapolito’s involvement in the drug trade despite his competence in legitimate business, his disrespectful treatment of Winslow’s body, his unwillingness to accept responsibility for his crime, and his leaving his middle daughter, then 13, at home near the murder scene.

During the trial, jurors heard accounts of Dapolito as a controlling abuser and descriptions of the couple as inseparable and happy. They ultimately rejected the defense’s claim that Winslow died because Dapolito and another marijuana distributor had cut out a third partner in their trafficking business.

Dapolito initially told authorities that he went to sleep on the bathroom floor next to his wife, high on cocaine and holding a gun in his right hand. He said a “poof” woke him and he saw that Winslow was dead.

Dapolito put Winslow’s body, with a handcuff around her right wrist, in a basement freezer before moving it to his father’s property in Upton. Dapolito’s middle daughter was at home while he transported the body, although he testified that she was supposed to be at her uncle’s home.

Dapolito turned himself in to Maine State Police three days after the shooting.

On Friday, the prosecution and defense presented family members and friends to advocate for a longer or more lenient sentence, respectively. In addition to Winslow’s daughter, two of Dapolito’s daughters spoke.

Angel Dapolito, his eldest daughter, said she feels blessed to have been part of the couple’s happiness and misses Winslow dearly.

She said her father created a loving atmosphere in their home, not just for the family but for youths who needed a supportive environment and a place to stay.

When someone asked her where she kept the key to her heart, she recalled, she said it was at the York County Jail. On the eve of her 21st birthday, she said, she stayed in the lobby of the jail so she could turn 21 with her father.

“He is my world, my heart, my hero,” she said through tears. “My everything.” 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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