PONTOTOC – Curtis Wayne Gause will serve at least 30 years in prison for burglary and the killing of a man he found in bed with his estranged wife.
Gause, 44, of Pontotoc was sentenced Friday by Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner, one day after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter and burglary, but not guilty of attempted assault of the estranged wife.
Gardner sentenced Gause to 20 years for manslaughter and 25 years, with 15 years suspended, for burglary.
Gause also will be on post-release supervision for five years.
The sentences will run consecutively, meaning Gause will serve 30 years with the other 15 possible if he gets into trouble after his release.
The jury convicted Gause on Thursday in the stabbing death of Jeffery Swords on March 22, 2008, at Tracy Gause’s trailer in Ecru.
Defense attorneys said during closing arguments that Gause was not a cold-blooded killer but a “fool in love” when he killed Swords.
Gause said he had gone to the trailer early in the morning to help Tracy Gause prepare for a yard sale. Prosecutors, however, said Gause’s sole purpose that day was to assault his estranged wife and to kill Swords.
Gause was charged with burglary because he broke into the mobile home after seeing Swords’ truck in the yard and then, peeking through a window, the couple in the bedroom.
Before entering the mobile home, Gause reportedly broke out the truck’s windows and slashed the tires.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress