Judge considering reducing Topeka woman’s ‘Hard 50’ murder sentence

Local News

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP/KSNT) – An attorney is asking a Douglas County judge to reduce the murder sentence of his client from Topeka.

The attorney for 25-year-old Sarah Gonzales-McLinn, of Topeka, argued that she was not properly advised of a plea deal that could have reduced her sentence by half. Gonzales-McLinn is serving a “Hard 50” sentence for killing 52-year-old Harold Sasko in January 2014.  

A Lawrence detective testified that Gonzales-McLinn used sleeping pills to drug Sasko, then nearly beheaded him with a hunting knife. A coroner testified that after murdering Sasko, McLinn dipped a towel in his blood, smeared it on the wall, and tried to write the word “freedom.”

Gonzalez-McLinn was an employee and roommate of Sasko, who owned Cici’s Pizza restaurants in Topeka and Lawrence. Authorities found her more than a week later in Florida.

Two days of hearings on the motion to reduce her sentence began Monday in Douglas County Court. 

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