The 46-year-old engineer was sentenced following a trial this week in Yverdon-les-Bains in which he admitted killing his wife in October 2012 after she threatened to leave him.
In addition to murder, the court found him guilty of breaching his duty of care by leaving their three-month old baby son alone for several hours while he buried the mother and attempted to establish an alibi.
Following extensive marital difficulties, the man was staying with friends on the night in question when he snuck out of the house and back to his own home, where he strangled his wife in her sleep, reports newspaper 20 Minutes.
After burying her in the forest and making it appear as though his home had been burgled, he returned to his friends’ house, leaving his baby son alone.
The man acted “with the contempt for life that characterizes an assassin. He thought about his actions, everything was calculated,” prosecutor Donovan Tesaury said in court, reports news agency ATS.
According to the prosecution, the man was worried he would be ruined financially and lose his house should his wife leave him.
The defence argued this was a crime of passion, liable for a lesser ten-year sentence.
His actions were “an act of desperation from an exhausted man who for a few seconds undoubtedly lost sight of what he was doing”, said his lawyer Manuela Ryter Godel.
Speaking in court to his wife’s family – who for six weeks believed the victim was ‘missing’ – the man expressed regret for his crime.