Final sentence handed down in dismemberment case

A woman accused of helping cover up the murder and dismemberment of an Urbana woman will spend the next six years in prison.

Kandis Forney, 25, was sentenced Tuesday morning and forfeited her van, which was used to transport body parts of Jessica Rae Sacco. Forney pleaded guilty to single counts of failure to report a crime, complicity to tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.

Sacco was found dead in her West Light Street apartment in March. According to Champaign County Prosecutor Nick Selvaggio, she and ex-boyfriend Matthew Puccio argued and he stabbed her in the abdomen. Hours later, he suffocated her with a plastic bag.

Kandis Forney told Champaign County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger B. Wilson on Tuesday that she didn’t act because she was scared of what Puccio might do if she alerted the authorities.

“I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen, and I didn’t know if I did tell what Puccio would do,” Forney said.

Forney cried throughout the sentencing, and said she was doing so not because of her situation, but because she knew what she had done was wrong. She said she was “truly sorry” for everything that happened.

Selvaggio said Kandis Forney didn’t participate in the dismemberment process or the homicide, but her conduct was just as “egregious” as the rest of the members of the group because she had a chance to save Sacco’s life after she had learned that Sacco had been stabbed, but didn’t do anything.

“I regret that I wasn’t strong enough to pick up the phone and say ‘Hey, this is what happened’,” Forney said. “Nothing I do now will take any of that back, and I understand that.”

On Monday, Puccio was sentenced to 42 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Three of the four friends charged for helping him try to cover up the crime were also sentenced Monday. Forney was sentenced Tuesday.

Puccio enlisted the help of four friends who were in the living room at the time of the murder, Selvaggio said. Christopher Wright, 37; Sharon Cook, 35 and Andrew Forney, 26, Kandis’ husband, also pleaded guilty to several charges for helping cover up the crime by dismembering Sacco’s body and helping Puccio dispose of limbs in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Over the span of several hours, Puccio, Wright and Andrew Forney cut up Sacco’s body using a sword and knives. Selvaggio said at one point, the five defendants took a break from the dismemberment, going to Speedway and McDonald’s before finishing the job. Kandis Forney was with the group who went to Speedway, but stayed home with Puccio during the trip to McDonald’s.

Kandis Forney was also ordered to pay restitution.