An Army intelligence analyst on Tuesday was dishonorably discharged and sentenced to over 62 years in prison for murdering his estranged wife in her on-base home and dumping her body in a garbage bin.
Relatives of Selena Roth, a 25-year-old Army veteran whose body was found on Jan. 13 on Schofield Barracks, welcomed the military judge’s decision to give her husband nearly the maximum sentence.
“We feel really that justice was served with the sentence,” Roth’s mother, Joanne Roth said after the court-martial concluded at at Wheeler Air Force Base. “We were hoping for at least more than 60 (years) and it fell in that range so we were satisfied.”
Spc. Raul Hernandez-Perez, 24, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of premeditated murder and disobeying a no-contact order, saying he killed Roth on Jan. 10 after spending the night with her on their first wedding anniversary despite the fact they were going through a divorce.
On Tuesday, military judge Col. Mark Bridges sentenced Hernandez-Perez to 62 years behind bars for the killing and an additional two months for disobeying a no-contact order by spending the night with Roth before killing her.
He was given credit for 244 days of time served since he had been on pretrial detention since being arrested on Jan. 13. Perez also will technically be eligible for parole after 10 years.
Before Bridges handed down the sentence, Hernandez-Perez was given the chance to make a statement and spent a brief portion of his time apologizing to both Roth’s family and his own family before addressing the looming decision.
“During the time I will be locked up I will do everything in my power to better myself and be a better human,” he said.
Hernandez-Perez went on to testify about his relationship with Roth, which began when they were in the same advanced individual training unit in Florida. The pair reconnected in February 2018 after they both moved to Oahu. In January 2020 they got married and moved in together. However, the relationship quickly became rocky, the court heard.
“It started to change when I started contacting an ex-girlfriend from Florida,” he said. “At some point, I knew I was not in love with (Roth) anymore.”
They continued experiencing marital troubles, prompting Hernandez-Perez to move out. In November 2020 his superior, 1st Sgt. Angela McDonald, ordered him not to have any more contact with his wife while the couple initiated a divorce. Hernandez-Perez also took out a temporary restraining order against Roth, according to the defense.
Hernandez-Perez said that, in December, Roth told him that he would never get rid of her even if they were divorced. He claimed she told him that she would go to Florida and kill his mother during the argument.
That alleged comment would later become the “final tipping point” for him, he said.
Despite the no-contact order, Hernandez-Perez celebrated his one-year anniversary with Roth at the Pearlridge Center on Jan. 9 and ended up staying the night with her. He said he then woke up at 4 a.m. enraged at Roth and began thinking about the divorce, the fights, two occasions when Roth allegedly sent his mother cow manure in the mail, and the alleged threat against his mother.
Hernandez-Perez then left the bedroom, went downstairs to retrieve a wooden baseball bat, returned, and struck Roth four times in the back of the head as she slept. After noticing she was still breathing, he retrieved a knife and stabbed her four times in the back.
After Hernandez-Perez testified, the prosecutor, Cpt. Benjamin Koenigsfeld urged Bridges to give him the maximum sentence.
“(Roth’s family) will never get to celebrate without the memory of Selena and the brutal way in which she was murdered be front and center,” Koenigsfeld said.
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