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UPDATE: Columbia man admits strangling his wife to death in 2006; sentenced to 26 years in prison

UPDATE: Columbia man admits strangling his wife to death in 2006; sentenced to 26 years in prison

41-year-old Keith Comfort has been sentenced to 26 years in prison (undated file photo courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department website)

A Columbia man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison, after pleading guilty to second degree murder and abandonment of a corpse for the 2006 death of his wife Megan. Her remains were found in Columbia’s landfill in 2019.

41-year-old Keith Comfort pleaded guilty in a surprise move at the Boone County Courthouse on Friday afternoon, while wearing a jail jumpsuit. He was shackled and handcuffed in court, seated next to defense attorney Kevin O’Brien. 939 the Eagle News was in the courtroom for the emotional hearing.

Boone County assistant prosecutor Susan Boresi presented two prosecution witnesses today. One was Megan Shultz’s best friend, Heather Crawford-Gallatin, who tells Boone County Circuit Judge Jeff Harris that Comfort is evil and that she originally wanted to tell him to go to hell, during today’s court hearing. She testifies that she will forgive Comfort one day, but not yet.

“You took a future,” Crawford-Gallatin said in open court, while looking directly at Comfort.

The prosecution also called a woman named Megan (we’re not reporting her last name, to protect her and her children’s privacy), who tells Judge Harris that she met Comfort while they worked at Kohl’s in Columbia. She was unaware of the murder, and says Comfort told her his ex-wife was abusive and was an addict. She later married Comfort and describes him as a monster, saying he lied about everything, ran up $100,000 in debt and borrowed money from her relatives. She doesn’t believe he’s paid them back.

She tells Judge Harris that Comfort tried to kill himself at one point. She also testified that he wrote letters to her and the two children this year, describing the letters as delusional and that the contact was “unwanted and toxic.”

Prosecutor Boresi tells Judge Harris that the victim’s family supports the plea agreement.

Judge Harris sentences Comfort to 22 years for second degree murder and four years for abandonment of a corpse. He’ll have to serve 85 percent of 22 years and will receive credit for time served in the county jail.

There was tight security in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, including plain clothes officers.