Anthony Bluml, the adoptive son of a Valley Center couple fatally shot in November 2013, has pleaded no contest to capital murder and aggravated robbery in their killings.
Earlier Friday his biological mother, 36-year-old Kisha Schaberg, entered a similar plea. As part of Bluml’s plea deal, prosecutors have agreed to not seek the death penalty against him. They also dropped four other charges – two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of burglary and misdemeanor theft – in the deal.
Bluml faces life in prison without parole eligibility at his sentencing on June 16. He was 19 at the time of the shootings. He is 20 now.
Under the deal with prosecutors, Bluml has no option to appeal his convictions or the sentences imposed.
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Bluml, Schaberg and two of Bluml’s friends and Valley Center High School classmates, Andrew Ellington and Braden Smith, were charged with capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft and burglary in the Nov. 15, 2013, shootings of Roger and Melissa Bluml at their home near Valley Center.
During the plea hearing, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said Anthony Bluml and Schaberg agreed to kill the couple because they wanted money and planned their deaths. Anthony arranged for Schaberg to have guns, then went to dinner with his adoptive parents the night they were shot. Schaberg, meanwhile, drove to the their home with another man charged in the case and awaited their return, armed.
She fired rounds into their heads as they sat in their truck after their arrival.
Melissa Bluml, 53, died the following day at the hospital. Her husband, 48, died just over a month later, on Dec. 21, 2013.
Anthony Bluml appeared in Sedgwick County District Court on Friday afternoon in a green jail jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles. His voice was slight and wavering when he spoke to the judge.
Friday’s hearing originally was called to determine the admissibility of statements Anthony Bluml made to law enforcement. It was announced when court convened that he was prepared to enter a plea in the case.
After the proceeding, Bennett said he was not surprised by the plea – Bluml had been considering it for about six months, his defense attorney said in court -- but he wasn’t expecting it to come Friday.
District Judge Ben Burgess presided over the hearing. He found Bluml guilty of capital murder and the two aggravated robbery charges.