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Published: Monday, 9/16/2002

Salerno to be sentenced Oct. 2 for wife's murder

LANSING — Twice-convicted murderer Dennis Michael Salerno is to be sentenced Oct. 2 in Ingham County Circuit Court for strangling his estranged wife in 2000.

Salerno's sentencing was postponed because he was uncooperative with court personnel attempting to interview him for a presentence report, said Sam Smith, assistant prosecutor. Salerno wouldn't talk without his attorney present, which delayed the routine procedure, Mr. Smith said.

Salerno, 32, was found guilty Aug. 27 of first-degree murder in the death of Swanton native Michelle Rizzi Salerno. Judge Peter Houk issued the verdict after a six-day trial to the court.

Salerno, who buried his wife's remains at a construction landfill on the Bowling Green State University campus, could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. He already is serving a life sentence in Ohio for fatally stabbing Larry McClanahan, 50, of Moscow, July 3, 2000, at a Lake Township truck stop.

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