ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. — A man accused with his wife of kidnapping and killing a teacher was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison, with the judge saying they hunted their victim like prey.

Judge Robert Bent said a mitigating factor in Allen Prue’s case was a lack of a criminal history before 2012, when prosecutors say he and his wife lured Melissa Jenkins from her home with a ruse about a broken-down vehicle and strangled and beat her.

Allen Prue, before being sentenced, said he felt terrible for what happened but was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He blamed his wife, Patricia Prue, for the killing.

But the judge rejected the defense arguments that Allen Prue played a minor role in the crime. He said Prue and his wife were “a pair hunting their prey.”

Prosecutors had asked the state Superior Court judge to impose a sentence of life without parole. Allen Prue’s attorney had asked for a sentence of 35 years to life.

Allen Prue, who told police he and his wife wanted “to get a girl,” was convicted in October of first-degree murder in the killing of Jenkins, a 32-year-old St. Johnsbury Academy teacher.

Patricia Prue has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder. She was expected to go on trial in March but has informed her lawyer she wants to plead guilty.

Jenkins, a single mother, was reported missing after her vehicle was found idling on her rural road with her 2-year-old son inside.

Police were led to the Prues by a business card for Allen Prue’s snowplow business in her home and because she had told a friend she was suspicious the Prues called her about their vehicle. Prue, who had plowed Jenkins’ driveway, and his wife were arrested two days after she was killed.