Crime & Courts

Man sentenced to life in prison for rape, death of 100-year-old woman

Kasey Nesbitt has been convicted of the rape and murder of a 100-year-old woman whose home in southeast Wichita he broke into last fall.
Kasey Nesbitt has been convicted of the rape and murder of a 100-year-old woman whose home in southeast Wichita he broke into last fall. Sedgwick County Jail

The man convicted of raping a 100-year-old Wichita woman in her home in 2014 – ultimately causing her death – was sentenced Thursday to life in prison, plus more than 26 years.

In the best-case scenario available to him, Kasey Nesbitt would be around 86 before he could be released from prison. He’s 37 now.

“That’s still 14 years younger than his victim,” Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said after Nesbitt’s sentence was pronounced by District Judge Ben Burgess.

Nesbitt will not start serving the 319-month portion of his sentence until he is granted parole on the life sentence, Bennett said. He’ll be eligible for the first time on the murder count in about 23 years, he said.

No one expects a 100-year-old family member to live forever. But no one expects a 100-year-old family member to die like this.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett

A jury last month found Nesbitt guilty of the rape, first-degree felony murder and aggravated burglary. His victim, Martha Schell, was inside her home in the 800 block of South Crestway on Sept. 30, 2014, when Nesbitt kicked in her door and went inside.

In what’s been characterized by police as a crime of opportunity, he brutally sexually assaulted her, jurors found during his trial.

Schell’s injuries were so severe they rendered her immobile, according to testimony. She died three weeks later from blood clots that traveled to her lungs – a complication a coroner determined resulted from the attack.

Law enforcement eventually linked Nesbitt to the crime using a DNA profile generated from sperm cells collected during Schell’s sexual assault exam. He was arrested and charged about a week after the attack.

Prosecutors amended his charges to include murder after Schell’s death was ruled a homicide in May 2015.

Bennett said Thursday Schell’s family was still “very upset” and are “still grieving” her death.

“No one expects a 100-year-old family member to live forever,” Bennett said. “But no one expects a 100-year-old family member to die like this.”

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

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