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Update: Reaction To "Elkhorn 8" Sentences

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

Two more of the so-called “Elkhorn Eight” were sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Court.

The wife of murder victim Brian Carson and a family friend received sentences for their roles in his death.

Teresa Carson was given the harshest sentence yet in the case, 18 to 20 years. She will be eligible for parole in nine years.

She claims to have endured more than a decade of verbal and physical abuse by her husband, but says she had no knowledge of a plan by her son, Ryan Carson, to murder him last April.

"They expected that could happen any day it was so volatile,” said defense attorney James Martin Davis. “But she did not know as indicated in the pre-sentence report, as indicated in the police reports, that he was going to be murdered."

Teresa Carson admitted to misleading police, insisting she did it to protect her kids. Her 16 year-old daughter, Sara Carson, has already plead guilty in the case. She will be sentenced in February for conspiracy to commit murder.

The two left town just ahead of the murder. In court Tuesday, Teresa Carson told Judge James Gleason, “Me and my daughter fled because I didn't know where my husband was. I thought he was going to kill me."

Prosecutor Brenda Beadle said that doesn't wash, according to the evidence. "Statements from all the individuals that were present at the house that she knew what was going to happen. Statements from her own daughter that there was discussion of life insurance money before he was murdered."

A friend of the victim, Diane Buechler, told Channel 6 News justice was served. "I wanted to jump up and down when Teresa got sentenced."

Another person involved in the murder, 23 year-old Jeffrey Hill, was also sentenced. He received four to five years for helping to dispose of the body and clean up evidence. It’s the same sentence Ryan Carson’s girlfriend, Nicole Walker, received last week.

Hill would be eligible for parole after two years. With the time he's already served, he could be released in a year and a half.

Hill said he feared for his own safety if he didn't go along with the cover-up. He told Judge Gleason, "If I could go back and change things, I would. It was a stupid mistake on my part."

Three more of the "Elkhorn Eight" have yet to be sentenced for Carson's murder. "He could be a hellion,” said Buechler, “but he didn't deserve to be killed. He didn't deserve to be murdered by his own son."

His son will be sentenced in April. Davis said Teresa Carson will appeal her sentence.


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