BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - It's been three years since a woman was shot and killed outside her Bellevue home. On Thursday, the man convicted of pulling the trigger was sentenced to almost 50 years in state custody, including 40 years in prison.
Anthony Kitchenakow appears in Brown County court via closed-circuit TV (WBAY photo)
Anthony Kitchenakow, 47, was initially charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Suzette Langlois. As part of an Alford Plea, Kitchenakow was convicted of a lesser charge of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide.
An Alford Plea is when a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there would be enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty at trial.
At Kitchenakow's sentencing, Langlois' fiance read an emotional statement to the court, saying her family and friends "all got a life sentence of pain and loss that will never be paroled."
Langlois' stepdaughter said 40 years isn't even close to a fair trade for a life without Langlois.
On Aug. 29, 2016, Suzette Langlois was found shot to death in the driveway of her home at 3020 Manitowoc Road in Bellevue. A deputy found a handgun magazine on the driver's seat of Langlois's car. He also found shell casings in the vehicle.
Investigators learned that Langlois' boyfriend owed Kitchenakow a drug debt, and that was believed to be the motive behind the shooting. Investigators said Langlois, 52, was the target to scare her boyfriend.
In Sept. 2018, the Wisconsin State Crime Lab received a DNA hit from the gun magazine. The DNA matched Kitchenakow, according to a criminal complaint.
At the sentencing, Kitchenakow's daughter, Anastacia Kranz, fought tears describing him as a helpful, caring, loving grandfather who "has been there for a lot of people."
Prosecutors asked the court to give 50 years in state custody, including 30 years behind bars. They listed Kitchenakow's prior convictions going back to 1990 and said he's "self serving" and "never takes responsibility."
Kitchenakow's defense asked the court for no more than 20 years in prison. The defense told the judge he's not going to hear an apology or admission of guilty from Kitchenakow but that shouldn't be held against him in determining the sentence.
In sentencing Kitchenkakow to 50 years, Judge John Zakowski allowed 361 days' credit for being in custody, effectively reducing the sentence by almost a year.