Victim impact statements to be allowed at killer’s sentencing

YORK – Monday morning, Oct. 23, Judge James Stecker heard a motion from special prosecutors George Welch and Corey O’Brien, from the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, as they asked for victim impact statements to be allowed during upcoming sentencing proceedings for Bart Beutler, 47, of York, who has been convicted of killing his wife, Stacie.

Beutler earlier pleaded no contest to two charges – second degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person.

Judge Stecker granted the prosecution’s motion, allowing 10 minutes for three victims to make their statements before the court.

Beutler shot and killed his wife at their home at 84 South Platte Avenue in February. Court documents indicate Beutler called 911 to report the situation, saying he shot the victim and she was deceased.

According to the affidavit filed with the York County Court and in the transcript later bound over to the York County District Court, Beutler called 911 and stated “84 South Platte.” When asked the nature of the emergency, Beutler stated, “Gunshot wound, I’m doing CPR.”

The affidavit says “what is believed to be heavy breathing and gurgling sounds can be heard on the 911 recorded call. Dispatch asked Beutler if the person was conscious and breathing and he stated, ‘No, she’s dead.’ In the recording, Beutler advises dispatch of his name and states, ‘Bart, I’m her husband.’ He then spelled his last name and stated, ‘I shot her, I’m sorry.’”

Court documents indicate dispatch advised the responding officers the gun was in the bedroom on the bed and Bart Beutler stated the woman “wouldn’t stop yelling and talking shit.”

He then ran to a different residence in the 400 Block of North Iowa Avenue and was taken into custody by the York Police Department at that location, without incident. Court documents indicate he was “wearing blood-stained clothing and admitted to shooting Stacie.”

When at the jail, Beutler told investigators (according to court documents), “he was in bed, in their room, and continued to explain Stacie kept coming into the room, waking him up and ‘talking shit.’ Beutler stated, ‘I just lost it. I just pulled out the gun and started shooting.’”

The affidavit says Beutler said he shot Stacie Beutler with a .40 caliber handgun. When asked how many times he shot her, he told officers, “I don’t know, I just pulled until the clip was empty.”

Beutler has an extensive criminal history, which includes a prior conviction of second degree murder in Maricopa County, Arizona.

He was initially charged with the following in York County:

  • First degree murder, a Class 1A felony which carries the possibility of life in prison.
  • Use of a firearm to commit a felony, a Class 1C felony that carries a possible maximum sentence of 5-50 years in prison upon conviction.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, a Class 1D felony that carries a possible maximum sentence of 3-50 years in prison upon conviction. The illegal firearm is a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol. This was the firearm that was allegedly used in the homicide.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. This charge was added after a search of the residence where investigators found a Smith and Wesson SD40VE pistol.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. This charge was added as well, after investigators found him in possession of an AR-15 style rifle.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. This charge was also added after a 12 GA semi-automatic shotgun was found in his possession.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. This charge was also added after another AR-15 rifle was found in his possession.

The charges were later amended as part of a plea agreement.

Sentencing will take place Oct. 30.

Murder in the second degree is a Class 1B felony which carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person is a Class 1D felony, which carries a possible maximum sentence of 3 to 50 years in prison.

Beutler continues to be in York County custody, held without bond, as he has been since his arrest.

 

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