A Hudson Valley man who killed his house guest and hid the dead man’s corpse in a planter for months was sentenced.

On Friday in Orange County court, 44-year-old Christopher Smith of the Town of Newburgh was sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with the April 2017 fatal stabbing of a man who was staying in Smith’s home.

On June 25, when Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter, prosecutors recommended Smith be sentenced to 20 in state prison.

“No sentence can ever mitigate the pain that a homicide victim’s family experiences when they lose a loved one to violence,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said. “The unlawful taking of another human life is among the worst crimes that one can commit, and the likelihood of killing increases dramatically when a person chooses to use a weapon.”

At the time that he pleaded guilty, Smith admitted he killed his houseguest, 50-year-old William K. McMahon of the Town of Newburgh, with a knife at the apartment he rented in the Town of Newburgh.

New York State Police received a report from the deceased man’s family on June 30, 2017, that he was missing. His buried remains weren't found until late October 2017 inside a large planter outside of Smith’s home.

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