Loading

17°F

19°F

17°F

13°F

16°F

20°F

17°F

24°F

16°F

17°F

24°F

17°F
NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Merrill man gets life sentence, opportunity to petition after 33 years; still says he's innocentSubmitted: 07/03/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


MERRILL - A 50-year-old Merrill man will spend at least 33 years in prison after being sentenced Thursday. A jury found Mark Bucki guilty in April of three counts connected to the murder and disappearance of his wife Anita.

The jury found Bucki guilty of three charges including first degree intentional homicide, strangling a person and hiding a body. The homicide charge was the most significant count determining Bucki's sentence because it carries a mandatory life sentence, but that doesn't guarantee spending life in prison.

Under state law, a mandatory life sentence carries a minimum of 20 years in prison, with the chance to petition for extended supervision afterwards. The extended supervision isn't guaranteed and would be determined by judicial leaders in the future after the minimum time in prison is met.

After more than two hours of statements, Judge Jay Tlusty sentenced Bucki to life in prison with a chance to petition after 35 years. Bucki won't get to petition for extended supervision until May 2048, after adding credit for time already served in county jail.

Judge Tlusty also sentenced Bucki to three years of prison and four years of extended supervision for the two remaining counts. Lincoln County District Attorney Donald Dunphy wanted Bucki to be sentenced to life in prison without the chance to petition, but he ultimately agrees with the sentence.

"35 years is a long time, and Mr. Bucki will be 84 or 85 by that time," Dunphy said.

Anita Bucki's family also wanted Mark Bucki to spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance for a petition. Her brother, Cliff Brown, made that clear in a letter that was read to the court.

"He deserves to pay for what he has done, he deserves to rot in a cell until the day he dies, then find a ditch and throw him in it like he did to my sister," Brown wrote in his statement.

However Mark and Anita's son, Clint, was hoping for leniency from Judge Tlusty. He has said multiple times throughout the case that his father was innocent, so he was hoping for a minimum sentence.

"I'm afraid something might happen to him while he's in there, and I won't be around to say good bye. Your honor, I need my papup, Alauna (Clint's daughter) needs her grandpa and I urge you to give my dad leniency." Clint Bucki said.

When given the opportunity to comment before the sentencing, Mark Bucki took the opportunity to say all he wanted was the best for Anita, and that he still loved her.

"If I could say I'm sorry for all of this, I would, because it would put so many people at rest," Bucki said. "But I can't because I am innocent."

Anita's sister Cheryl Cruse also spoke before the sentencing. She discussed her relationship with her sister and how Anita was always a rock to the family. Cruse says she'll still feel a void regardless of the decision.

"If only I could rewind the clock, I would gladly take the pain and suffering my sister endured during the last night of her life, just to have her back," Cruse said.

Prosecutors say Bucki plans on appealing the sentence.

If the sentence stands, Bucki would be in his mid-80's when he could petition for extended supervision, but Anita's family won't get the same second chance to see her again.

"My hard lessoned learned in this is to never leave things unsaid because you never know when it will be too late," Cruse said.

Judge Tlusty said that might be a positive lesson both families could take from the case.

The sentencing means Bucki will spend the rest of his life under the Wisconsin Correction Department's supervision.

--------------------------------------------------
July 3, 2014; 1:05 p.m.

A Lincoln County man convicted of killing his wife and hiding her body will spend at least 35 years in prison.

Thursday, a judge told 50-year-old Mark Bucki he could petition the court for release with extended supervision after serving 35 years in prison. Judicial leaders then would decide if he was fit to be released into the extended supervision program. He will spend the rest of his life somehow connected to the Wisconsin corrections system. Bucki could get credit for time served in county jail, reducing the time spent to 33 year in prison.

Bucki was convicted of first degree murder, hiding a body and strangling his wife, Anita.

The first degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence.

Newswatch 12's Adam Fox was in the courtroom. He'll bring you more information tonight on Newswatch 12.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Doctors diagnosed a Rhinelander man with lung cancer that spread to his brain last December.

Since then, the community has helped fundraise for medical bills.

Twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Ottman hasn't been able to work since he was diagnosed.

There have already been fundraisers done by Boy Scout Troop 672 and Sammy Jr's.

Friday there will be a zumba party at the Northwoods Banquet Center.

+ Read More

WOOD COUNTY - A Pittsville high school senior died in a two car crash on Wednesday in Wood County.

18-year-old Kayla Ignatowski died at the scene.

It happened at 7:39 a.m. on County Highway A, between Hilltop Road and Sunset Road north of Pittsville.

Investigators believe Ignatowski's car crossed the centerline while going around a curve, hitting the other car head on.

+ Read More

FOREST COUNTY - Prosecutors think a former Forest County jail worker stole phone cards from the Forest County jail and gave them to an inmate.

Melvin Donek is also accused of lying to an officer about how the cards were given to an inmate without payment.

He pled not guilty to one felony and three misdemeanors in court Thursday.

Prosecutors also believe Donek knowingly bought a stolen trailer.

He's charged with a felony for misconduct in office.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry uses creative ways to get food donations. One of their fundraisers, CANtastic, just finished up for the year.

Nine teams used more than 4,300 cans to build replicas of historic buildings. Then, more than 700 people used cans to vote for their favorite structure.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - On Tuesday, a Michigan man named Steven Snyder robbed a Wausaukee bank. Before he was killed later that day, police say Snyder killed a state trooper and another person.

Bank workers in Wausaukee, like those in other Northwoods banks, likely had been trained in advance on what to do if being robbed.

In Rhinelander, the police department works directly with banks and credit unions to prepare workers for a potential robbery.

+ Read More

ANTIGO - An Antigo man could spend more than 40 years in prison for allegedly biting a piece of another man's ear off during a bar fight.

According to court documents, 26-year-old James Pendleton was sitting across the bar from the victim and a woman who had a restraining order against Pendleton.

+ Read More

MADISON - The number of walleye fishermen can keep could change. The DNR wants to change how it sets the walleye bag limit in ceded territory.

It wants a three walleye bag limit for all lakes and rivers in the territory.

The tribes have treaty rights allowing them to harvest fish from lakes in most of northern Wisconsin.

The Natural Resources Board will consider the proposal on April 8th.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here