PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) _ A minister convicted of murdering his wife was was sentenced today to 23 years in prison after a judge denied his motion for a new trial.

The Rev. Grady Young, 61, was found guilty last month of murdering his wife, Elva Mae Young, 55, at the parsonage of the Hillcrest Baptist Church. He used a .22-caliber rifle to fire three shots into his wife as she returned home from shopping, prosecutors said.

Young's attorney, Craig Ritchie, had urged that the minister be sentenced to less than 20 years in prison. Young had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Ritchie also asked that Young be released pending appeal, arguing there was no risk of flight.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Gary Velie denied both Ritchie's motion for a new trial and his request for Young's release.

Prosecutors had portrayed Young as a cold-blooded killer who was tired of his wife. The defense contended Mrs. Young was killed by an unknown assailant while Young was out running errands.