A man on trial in connection with a shooting death in Salina that happened back in 2018 has been found guilty of second degree murder.
According to the Saline County Attorney’s Office, at the conclusion of a jury trial late last week, jurors found 26-year-old Mika Thille guilty of second degree murder.
A first degree murder conviction could have carried a life sentence without the possibility of parole for either 50-years, or a 25-years, depending on the specific conviction. The lesser charge Thille was convicted of carries a sentence of 416 to 460 months, which will end up being about 38 years in prison.
Thille was represented by Salina attorney Richard Blackwell. Blackwell’s office issued a statement to KSAL News which reads in part:
“The Thille trial initially seemed like a slam dunk for prosecutors. But Richard Blackwell hammered a hole in the prosecution’s case — the role of the second gun found on the scene — and raised doubt among jurors.”
The case stems from the death of 30-year-old Justin Willingham. On Friday, November 30th, 2018, police officers were dispatched to 703 State Street in Salina in reference to a call of shots fired. Officers found Willingham shot inside the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Thille was arrested in connection with the crime later that same day. He currently is being held in the Saline County Jail awaiting sentencing.