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Salina, KS

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Salina Technical College
KC Giveway

State No Longer Seeking ‘Hard 50’

Associated Press - July 11, 2013 10:02 am

A southern Kansas man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually attacked a mother of four before fatally setting her on fire.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office is no longer asking a judge to sentence a former law officer to 50 years without parole for killing his wife.

Brett Seacat was convicted last month of killing his wife, Vashti Seacat, and setting their Kingman home on fire in April 2011. He and the couple’s two sons escaped the fire.

Prosecuting attorney Amy Hanley said after the verdict the state would ask the judge to consider a “hard 50” sentence for Seacat.

KWCH reports prosecutors withdrew that intent in court documents filed July 1. They cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that juries, rather than judges, should consider facts in trials that could result in longer minimum sentences. A judge will sentence Seacat on Aug. 5.