Judge Decides Hard 50 in Wichita Murder Case
Associated Press - March 4, 2014 10:26 am
A Kansas man who spent 15 years in prison for a killing he didn't commit says his case is a good example of why the state should repeal its death penalty.
A Sedgwick County judge has recommended a Hard 50 prison sentence for a Wichita man who left his girlfriend on a road after kicking her between 20 and 30 times with steel-toed boots.
District Judge William Woolley ruled Monday that 43-year-old Anson Bernhardt should serve 50 years in prison without the possibility of parole for the September 2012 death of 38-year-old Amber Kostner. Bernhardt will be formally sentenced Friday.
The Wichita Eagle reported Bernhardt was convicted in July of first-degree murder. His sentencing was delayed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said juries, rather than judges, should impose Hard 50 sentences.
Bernhardt waived his right to have a jury decide the sentence, so evidence was presented at a two-day bench trial before Woolley.