UPDATE: Teen accused in restaurant owner's death appears in court

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An attorney for a 19-year-old woman charged with killing a Lawrence businessman says the case will prove to be one of why rather than a crime story whodunit.

Carl Cornwell's client, Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn, appeared briefly in Douglas County District Court to hear the amended murder charges against her in the death of 52-year-old Harold Sasko.

Douglas County prosecutors also filed notice that they would seek to have McLinn sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for at least 50 years, known as the "Hard 50." McLinn is being held on $1 million bond.

Cornwell said after the hearing that there was more to the story that would come out as the court case progressed. He also suggested he hoped to avoid a protracted court trial.


Previous story:

Prosecutors plan to seek a "Hard 50" prison sentence against a 19-year-old woman charged with killing a Lawrence businessman.

The announcement was made Monday as Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn made her first appearance in Douglas County District County. McLinn is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Harold Sasko. Prosecutors also have added a vehicle theft charge against McLinn.

Her attorney, Carl Cornwell, says a "Hard 50" sentence would be like the death penalty.

Sasko owned pizza restaurants in Lawrence and Topeka. McLinn was an employee, and Sasko's relatives have said he let her move into his home while she was having personal problems.

She was arrested in Florida but declined to fight extradition. She is being held in the Douglas County jail on $1 million bond.

Sarah McLinn


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