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Wichita man draws 25-year sentence for 2011 murder

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 3:35 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at 7:44 a.m.

A Wichita man was sentenced Friday to more than 25 years in prison for the Sept. 24, 2011, murder of a 46-year-old Valley Center woman.

Eldridge D. Sherrill, 50, pleaded guilty in September to kidnapping and second-degree murder in the death of Dana Arnold.

District Judge Mark Vining imposed the maximum sentence – five years and one month for kidnapping and 20 years and five months for second-degree murder – and ordered that the sentences run consecutively.

Prosecutors said Sherrill, an acquaintance of Arnold’s, used a refrigerator and big-screen television to block the doors of his home in the 800 block of South Beverly before beating and strangling Arnold.

At Sherrill’s sentencing hearing, several of Arnold’s relatives urged Vining to impose the maximum sentence.

Arnold’s husband, Ross Arnold, said his wife, who had nine siblings, had dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and other relatives.

“She loved every one of them, and they loved her,” he said.

He said the people damaged most by Sherrill’s actions were the Arnolds’ four children, who range in age from 13 to 22.

“They loved their mother desperately, and now they’re facing life without her,” he said

Sherrill spoke briefly at the hearing, saying he was sorry for what happened to Arnold, but he stopped short of taking responsibility for her death.

“I’m guilty of something but not what I’m getting charged with,” he said.

Vining then imposed the sentence.

“I don’t find any grounds to justify or excuse your behavior,” he told Sherrill before turning his attention to the family.

“There’s no sentence I can impose that will bring Dana back,” he said. “I can only hope that these people will be able to continue Dana’s memory and legacy.”

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com.

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