A judge Friday sentenced Michael Williams to life in prison for first-degree murder in the death of Sean “Chris” Putnam, an ex-police officer who had been shot in the head and whose body had been buried in a shallow grave in a neighborhood south of Wichita.
The prosecution had presented evidence that in December 2010, Williams shot his roommate and that a bungee cord was put around Putnam’s neck while he gurgled blood.
Williams, 37, of Wichita, will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
When District Judge Gregory Waller asked Williams if he wanted to say anything, Williams said, “I would like to state for the record that I was defending my wife.”
At Williams’ trial in April, his defense attorney, Steve Mank, argued that Putnam had grabbed Williams’ wife.
Before the judge announced the sentence, Mank argued that Williams should have a new trial because police did not disclose information that Putnam had been a suspect in alleged sexual assaults of two other women. But Waller ruled that the information would not have made a difference in the jury’s guilty verdict.
During the April trial, a neighbor testified that Williams told him that he shot Putnam after an argument and that the couple had wanted Putnam to move out of their house, but he wouldn’t leave.
Prosecutor Angela Wilson said Putnam’s family has been consistent in their feelings: that although Putnam had made some bad choices, “he didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”