This is an archived article that was published on in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As he has since the night Uta von Schwedler was found dead in the bathtub in her Sugar House home, Johnny Brickman Wall asserted his innocence Wednesday.

"I did not kill Uta," Wall told the judge. "I am innocent of this crime. The tragedy of Uta's death has been compounded as our children have lost not only their mother, but now their father."

Moments later, 3rd District Court Judge James Blanch sentenced Wall, von Schwedler's ex-husband, to prison for up to life.

Blanch acknowledged Wall's denials, but told him: "What the jury found was, a chilling and despicable crime was committed."

Wall must serve at least 15 years in prison, though he will receive credit for the two years he has been in jail awaiting trial and then sentencing.

Wall told Blanch he plans to appeal his conviction, but will use his time in prison by working as a teacher or finding other ways he can be useful.

Unless an appeal is successful, the sentence ends what was the most high-profile murder case in Salt Lake City in years.

The television show 48 Hours filmed the trial and has already broadcast an episode about the case, lured by the storyline of a physician accused of murdering his HIV researcher wife after a contentious divorce and custody battle.

Von Schwedler's body was found Sept. 27, 2011, by her boyfriend, Nils Abramson; a near-lethal amount of Xanax was found in her system.

At trial, prosecutors said there were simply too many coincidences surrounding Wall, including that he could not remember where he was on the night von Schwedler died, and had a scratch on his eye that he claimed came from his dog.

Wall also wrote a Xanax prescription for his mother in the months before von Schwedler's death, according to trial testimony.

Defense attorney G. Fred Metos argued that von Schwedler's death wasn't a murder at all — she killed herself that September night, he told jurors.

In March, Wall, 51, was convicted of first-degree felony murder.

Wednesday's hearing began with Blanch denying a motion by Metos to set aside the guilty verdict. Metos, made an argument similar to one at trial that experts who testified von Schwedler was murdered rather than committing suicide relied on incomplete circumstantial evidence and speculated.

Metos said it was "incredibly dubious" to conclude von Schwedler was injected with the prescription drug Xanax.

Blanch said he was not going to overrule the jury.

"There is ample evidence to support the jury's verdict," Blanch said.

Blanch also denied a motion contending DNA evidence was incorrectly presented at trail.

Von Schwelder's family and friends sat in the gallery behind the prosecution team. On the first row was Pelle Wall, the couple's son and who publicly accused his father of murder in months after the murder before his father was charged.

Addressing the judge during the hearing, Pelle Wall lauded his mother and recalled how his father ridiculed and belittled von Schwedler in front of their children for years.

"This robbed us of much of our mother long before he ultimately took her life," Pelle Wall said.

"Our loss is forever," Pelle Wall said in concluding his remarks.

John Wall's siblings and a few other supporters left at the conclusion of the hearing without speaking to reporters.

Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Pelle Wall told reporters he wasn't surprised by one more denial from his father.

"He's created his own truth," the son said.

Twitter: @natecarlisle