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Man sentenced to 120 years in prison for "demonic" slaying of a father and son in their Connecticut home

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A Connecticut judge sentenced a 55-year-old New Haven man to 120 years in prison for the gruesome slaying of a father and son, part of a murder case that spanned more than three decades and which the judge on Tuesday said included "a demonic level of violence and terror."

A jury found Willie McFarland guilty of murder in November for the deaths of the two men, Fred Harris, 59, and Greg Harris, 23.

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This booking photo released by the Hamden, Conn. Police Department shows Willie McFarland. / AP

McFarland was sentenced to 60 years for each of the murders, terms that are to be served consecutively, according to a statement by New Haven State Attorney John P. Doyle Jr. The father and son were found bound and with their throats slashed in their Hamden, Connecticut, home in 1987.

Greg Harris had freed himself and tried to escape, but McFarland caught him, tied him up again and sexually assaulted him, The New York Times reported, citing the police affidavit.

Capt. Ronald Smith of the Hamden police told the newspaper the murders were "bone-chilling."

"Any murder is horrific, but this was over the top," he told The Times.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Elpedio N. Vitale called McFarland "an unqualified menace to society."

McFarland quickly became a suspect and was questioned soon after the killings. But for years, authorities had no physical evidence linking him to the crime. They continued to look, conducting DNA testing around 2006 and again in 2018.

McFarland was arrested in 2019.

"After 35 years, the man responsible for the murder of a father and son, in their own home, has been brought to justice," Doyle said.

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