LEWISTON — The father of a woman murdered in Florida two years ago said he and his wife were “elated” Friday to learn their daughter’s killer would spend the rest of his life in prison.

“The animal that took my daughter is now going to be in a cage like an animal should be,” Mark Robert said of Thomas Hampton Frederick, 25, who was convicted Friday of first-degree murder in a Pinellas County, Fla., courtroom after a three-day trial.

Frederick fatally stabbed Adrianne Robert, 29, in July 2012. The graphic designer had moved to Clearwater, Fla., from Maine, where she had worked at the Sun Journal newspaper in Lewiston as a page designer.

“It doesn’t bring Adrianne back, but justice was served today,” Mark Robert said.

It was difficult to be in the same room with the man who murdered his daughter and keep his emotions in check, he said.

Frederick showed no sympathy or remorse, not even when the jury rendered its verdict, Robert said. Instead, Frederick “acted very cocky.”

Robert and his wife, Lori, wept when the verdict was read aloud in the courtroom. “We were so happy,” he said. His sister, Cindy Boisvert, and her husband, Ron, who had sat with them through the trial, as well as the family of Adrianne Robert’s fiance, Justin Pounders, also cried when the jury returned its verdict.

Mark and Lori Robert left the courtroom during the trial when a medical examiner testified about Adrianne Robert’s injuries, Mark Robert said.

“I didn’t want to hear that,” he said. “That doesn’t bring her back and I didn’t want to know what she went through. From what I gather, she fought very hard.”

Life without their daughter has been a struggle for Mark and Lori Robert, he said.

“It’s definitely going to still take a while for us, because we just lost the most precious thing in our lives,” he said. “We’ll get back on our feet because that would be something that Adrianne would want. And it’s going to take a little while, but yeah, we’re gonna get there. Our life will get a little better, I think, every day now because we know (Frederick’s) where he belongs.”

Prosecutors concluded last year that they might not be able to convict Frederick in a death penalty case because, in Florida, certain circumstances must be present in such cases or a conviction might be reversed on appeal. Instead, prosecutors pursued a first-degree murder, life-sentence case — and won.

“If they would have told us they could have had it, then yes, we were all for it,” Mark Robert said. “But we didn’t want to take the chance. This was good.” Prosecutors were impressive in the courtroom, he said. “They were so polished. They were just fantastic. They just did everything impeccably.”

There is no possibility of parole. Frederick’s family has promised to appeal the verdict and sentence.

Mark Robert said he and Lori will fly back to Maine on Saturday after having spent a week in Florida. He said they are grateful for all of the support they received from Adrianne’s friends and her fiance’s family.

“They were so understanding,” he said. “They told us that if we needed something, anything, that they’d be there for us — and they were.”

The quality of her friends is a reflection of Adrianne, her father said.

“She just loved to live life,” he said. “Her smile was infectious. It’s sad that we’ll never see that again.”

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