Man Who Killed Mother of Four Receives Maximum Sentence

March 1, 2012 Updated Mar 1, 2012 at 12:38 AM EDT

By John Borsa

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March 1, 2012 Updated Mar 1, 2012 at 12:38 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - When Helyna Rivera was trying to leave her abusive boyfriend last summer, he killed her in a fit of rage in front of the couple's two youngest children.

On Wednesday in Erie County Court, 27-year-old Uda Hidalgo was sentenced to the maximum for his first degree manslaughter conviction. Judge Sheila DiTullio sent the man to jail for 25 years.

"You shot her, Mr. Hidalgo, not only three times in the back but once she fell down you shot her in the back of her head execution style in front of two young children," said DiTullio, who called Hidalgo a coward.

Rivera was picking up her two youngest children from a home on Virginia Street on Buffalo's West Side when Hidalgo confronted and then shot her.

Hidalgo's attorney said his client was afraid that Rivera was going to leave town and take the couple's four children with her.

"This was intolerable to my client," attorney Joseph Terranova said.

"This reached critical mass at that point," he added. "And as my client has said, if he didn't have that gun, she'd still be here today."

The four children now live with relatives in Fort Erie, Ontario.