A 41-year-old man has been given the maximum sentence for killing his girlfriend and leaving her body under a bridge in a holding pond south of the Minnesota River in Burnsville, where it was found entombed in ice more than five months later.
Uriah D. Schulz of Apple Valley pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree manslaughter. He was immediately sentenced in Dakota County District Court to 15 years in connection with the death of Elizabeth V. Perrault, 41, on Nov. 1, 2017.
In exchange for Schulz's plea, second-degree murder charges were dismissed.
With credit for time in jail since his arrest four-plus months after Perrault's body was discovered, Schulz will serve the first 9⅓ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Judge Tanya O'Brien's sentence was the harshest allowed by law and nearly six years longer than advised by state sentencing guidelines "due to the concealment of the victim's body," read a statement from the County Attorney's Office.
Schulz initially denied harming Perrault and said she was alive when he last saw her. But during sentencing, he said he and Perrault had been fighting, that he blacked out and found her body when he awoke. He had been living at her apartment.
He also acknowledged wrapping her body in a blanket and leaving it where it was ultimately found encased in ice on April 22, 2018, about 5 miles north of her home.
The medical examiner determined that Perrault died by a homicide of unspecified means.