By Andrea Lucia

MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Gary Bardwell waited almost a year and a half to see justice for his daughter. “When they finally announced the verdict, my heart was just beating out of my chest,” he said. Bardwell was a key witness in the trial of Jason Lowe, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend on Wednesday.

Bardwell reported his daughter, Jessie, missing in May 2016, after the family was unable to reach her. Police questioned Lowe and found evidence of decaying flesh in his car. Prosecutors made a deal with Lowe, agreeing to cap the punishment that they would seek at 50 years in exchange for information leading them to Jessie’s body in a field in Farmersville.

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(credit: Twitter)

A judge in Collin County on Wednesday honored that agreement, sentencing Lowe to the full 50 years.

“There’s a deafening silence in my life. I don’t know if you can understand what I mean by that,” Bardwell said. “Since Jessie’s been gone, it seems like the world has been turned off. She kept my heart beating. She kept me smiling.”

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Gary Bardwell (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

At the end of the trial, Bardwell gave a statement, deliberately staring into Lowe’s eyes as he read it. “I’ve actually never seen what I saw in there today in my whole life. And I’m not a young person,” he said. “When you look in his eyes, there’s nothing there.”

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(credit: Richardson Police Department)

Bardwell said that he found no signs of remorse — one reason that he has no intention to forgive Lowe. “People say forgive this person. You’re not going to get better until you forgive this person,” Bardwell said. “I don’t look at him like a person. He’s the Devil. I want to know how in the hell you forgive the Devil.”

Lowe will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years behind bars.

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