x
Breaking News
More () »

Life sentence for Fort Worth man found guilty of gruesome murder of wife, infant son

Craig Vandewege, 40, was found guilty, Thursday, and given an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Editor's note: The video above is from October, when the trial began.

A Fort Worth man charged with the capital murder of his wife and infant son will spend the rest of his life in jail after a jury found him guilty of the crime. 

Craig Vandewege, 40, was found guilty, Thursday, and given an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

The closure of the case comes nearly five years after Shanna Riddle Vandewege and their 3-month-old son, Diederik, were found with their throats cut inside the family's Fort Worth home. 

According to the investigation, Craig Vandewege called 911 on the night of Dec. 15, 2016 and told dispatchers that someone broke into the house, ransacked it, and killed his wife and son. 

But Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Lisa Callaghan told the jury during the trial that "this is not a burglary."

"This was never a burglary," she said. "Why would a burglar ever kill an infant? It's absurd. It doesn't add up, no matter which way you look at it."

RELATED: Trial begins for man charged in gruesome murder of wife, 3-month-old baby at Fort Worth home

Vandewege was arrested for a speeding violation days later in Colorado on his way to Las Vegas, prosecutors said. "He was running from the law," Callaghan said.

Investigators found that Craig Vandewege stood to claim more than $700,000 in life insurance after the deaths of his wife and son.

Credit: WFAA
Shanna Vandewege and family (Facebook)

The guilty verdict and sentencing come years after an agonizing wait for Shanna's family; after waiting three years for a possible trial, the family had to wait even longer after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a delay in court proceedings.

RELATED: As COVID-19 delays the trial for his daughter and grandson's accused killer, one man continues to wait

For Mark Riddle, Shanna's father, the wait for a trial felt endless.

“I might be able to finally at least put my mind to rest and at ease,” Riddle said in 2020, wiping tears while describing what a trial would mean. 

Paid Advertisement