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July 12, 2013

State no longer seeking Hard 50 against Seacat

The Kansas attorney general will no longer seek the Hard 50 sentence for Brett Seacat, found guilty by a jury in June of killing his wife, Vashti, setting their Kingman home on fire, and endangering the lives of their children.

The Kansas attorney general will no longer seek the Hard 50 sentence for Brett Seacat, found guilty by a jury in June of killing his wife, Vashti, setting their Kingman home on fire, and endangering the lives of their children.

Court documents filed last week by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office explained the state did not believe it had sufficient evidence to seek 50 years without the possibility of parole because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision June 17. Justices ruled in Alleyne v. United States that it fell on juries, not judges, to consider the facts of a trial that may justify the imposition of longer minimum sentences.

This means the state would need to either bring the jury back or call a new jury to sentence Seacat, a former sheriff’s deputy, with the Hard 50. According to court documents, the state struck its intent to seek the sentence June 19.

Seacat’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.

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