Jury recommends 50-year term in near-decapitation killing

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – An eastern Kansas jury has recommended a 50-year prison sentence for a woman convicted of killing her roommate and former employer by nearly decapitating him.

A Douglas County jury made the recommendation Monday for 20-year-old Sarah Gonzales McLinn of Lawrence after concluding her January 2014 killing of 52-year-old pizza shop owner Harold Sasko was committed in an “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.”

McLinn, who was convicted Friday of first-degree murder, is to be sentenced April 29. During her trial, McLinn’s attorneys acknowledged their client killed Sasko. But they sought an acquittal on claims that she had mental disease or defect at the time of the slaying. Defense witnesses also testified that McLinn had multiple personalities. But jurors concluded McLinn was able to form intent in killing Sasko.

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