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AG To Seek ‘Hard 50′ For Kansas Murder Suspect

Associated Press - December 5, 2013 8:22 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed the "Hard 50" murder sentence of a Wichita man but refused to rule whether changes made by legislators to the law in 2013 can be applied.

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed the "Hard 50" murder sentence of a Wichita man but refused to rule whether changes made by legislators to the law in 2013 can be applied.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he’ll seek the “Hard 50″ prison sentence for a man accused of fatally stabbing a former girlfriend and setting her house on fire.

Schmidt’s office is handling the prosecution of 25-year-old William Andrew Shank in Thomas County District Court. The Garden City man is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated arson and burglary in the Feb. 9 death of 27-year-old Teri Morris in Colby.

Schmidt filed a motion Thursday indicating that if Shank is convicted, he’ll request a sentence of at least 50 years in prison without parole. Shank faces trial in March 2014.

Shank has pleaded not guilty to killing Morris, an emergency medical technician with whom he was contesting custody of their 8-month-old daughter. A coroner said Morris had been stabbed 27 times.

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