A man was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Tuesday morning to life in prison without parole for two cold-case murders in the East Bay.
William Huff, 51, known as “Wild Bill,” pleaded no contest to two counts of murder in two separate cold case murders, according to KTVU in San Francisco. Prosecutors believe he murdered Deanna Butterfield, 21, (pictured) in 1987 and Mueylin Saechao, who was a woman from Laos in her mid-50s, in 1993.
Huff was linked to the two unsolved murders through advances in DNA technology, Berkeleyside reported. Evidence collected at both murder scenes matched Huff’s DNA which was entered into CODIS, the FBI's national DNA database, according to KTVU.
Saechao was found strangled with a sock in her boyfriend’s backyard. Butterfield was found half-naked in a park, killed by asphyxiation.
“You disgust me as a human, and the breath you just took is more than you deserve,” Butterfield’s now-adult daughter Melissa Silva told Huff during his Tuesday sentencing hearing, according to the East Bay Times.
She was just 4 years old when her mother was killed.
“We are very pleased with the success of our recently formed ‘Cold Case Unit,'” said Contra Costa County district attorney Mark Peterson in a prepared statement in 2015 after Huff’s arrest. “Solving cold case murders and rapes is a priority for our office in order to bring those responsible to justice, and provide closure for victims and their families.”
At the time of his arrest, Huff was about to be released for from prison for an auto theft conviction.
Huff was originally eyed by police in 2006, through another DNA test which linked him to Butterfield’s crime scene, according to the East Bay Times. He claimed he had consensual sex with Butterfield when approached by police and they were unable to charge him with anything at that time, police say.
[Photos: Contra Costa County DA’s Office]