Appeal denied for York man sentenced to 100-130 years for killing wife

YORK – Bart Beutler, 48, of York, appealed his York County District Court sentencing of 100-130 years in prison for killing his wife. The appeal, however, has been denied by the higher court.

In Beutler’s appeal, the convicted killer argued his counsel was ineffective and his sentence was excessive.

The appeals court decision says the sentence is appropriate, considering Beutler’s extensive and violent criminal history.

He killed his wife, Stacie Beutler, 46, at their home in York on Jan. 30, 2023.

According to court documents, Beutler shot his wife 10 times, called 911 to report the situation, ran to his brother-in-law’s house where York police officers found him in blood-covered clothing and arrested him. He told investigators he didn’t know how many times he shot her, just that he emptied the clip until she was no longer “talking shit.”

At the time of Beutler’s sentencing, George Welch, special prosecutor from the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, noted how the original charge of first-degree murder had been amended as part of a plea agreement to second-degree murder.

“We entered the agreement on the basis of the fact he’d be giving up a great deal of his appellate rights and this would prevent the family from enduring a gut-wrenching two-week trial,” Welch said. “We believe he should never step one foot out of a jail cell again. He inflicted horrible damage on someone he said he loved. He emptied a semi-automatic handgun into her, he said she was bothering him while he was trying to sleep. He says it was because he was intoxicated, but his blood alcohol level was not extraordinarily high and was below legal limits when tested later. We have an obligation to make sure society is protected.”

Welch stressed that Bart Beutler was a felon who was prohibited from possession any firearms, prior to the killing, “and yet found a way to have four firearms. He decided to shoot and kill someone he says he loved and got guns as a convicted felon – four of which were loaded and he had the opportunity to pick one up and fire. He’s exhausted his ability to say this won’t happen again, he doesn’t deserve the opportunity to repeat this again,” Welch said at sentencing.

At the time of sentencing, Judge James Stecker recognized Beutler’s criminal history, including prison time for another murder conviction and the fact Beutler was a prohibited person who could not legally possess firearms, “yet you did. Incarceration is necessary to protect society.”

Beutler’s current sentence is 60-80 years in prison for second degree murder and 40-50 years in prison for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. The sentences are consecutive.

 

 

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