Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

UPDATE: Merrill man gets life sentence, opportunity to petition after 33 years; still says he's innocent
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

HAZELHURST -
You'll get the chance to catch a variety of theater shows this summer in Hazelhurst.

Tommy O's Playhouse kicks off its summer season Wednesday.

There is a wide mix of shows this year from an old-time country music show to plays written by locals.

"We try to revolve all of our shows within a week or so that if people are up here they can come see one show, then see another show," says Tommy Organiscak.

There are many new cast members this year.

One of them is Luke Funk all the way from New York City.

"Part of the reason why I wanted to come up here is because it's such a challenge to do the 'rep' theater, especially because I am doing four of the eight shows here," says Luke Funk.

Tommy O's Playhouse is one of just four revolving repertory theaters in the country.

For more info, click below.



+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown is suing the city and its police department because officers used a stun gun on him during his arrest for a parking violation in January.

Brown's attorney Mark Thomsen filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday alleging excessive force and unlawful arrest.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Supreme Court says the city of Madison doesn't owe a billboard company anything because an overpass blocked the company's sign.

The city built an overpass in 2013 that blocks the view of one side of an Adams Outdoor Advertising sign. The company sued demanding compensation, alleging the overpass construction prevents the company from fully using its property and therefore amounts to a government taking.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court rules against Wisconsin Democrats in the fight over the drawing of legislative boundaries.

Democrats believe current maps give Republicans an unfair advantage in elections.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK -
Heavy rain this weekend nearly delayed the start of Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball season.

The Snowhawks will begin their 12 game schedule Monday night against Newswatch 12.

Early Monday, it looked like the field at Snowshoe Park might be too wet to play on.

Snowhawks Manager Jeff Smith said the sun Monday afternoon has helped prepare the wood chips on the field for the game.

"Once you get them ruffed up, it kind of pulls the moisture out. It's kind of nice to have the sun going, because it will dry some of that right up. It takes a little while, it takes a little wind, but with everything going on now it's going to make big improvements by game time," said Smith.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Wearing his black gown and mortarboard, Derek Pranke looked every bit the part of a proud graduate on Monday afternoon.

"We all pulled straight A's," Pranke said of his graduating class.

But Pranke knew his outfit beat the one he got used to wearing the last few years.

"[Class was] better than wasting time and just sitting and doing nothing in prison," Pranke said.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - "I have not seeing anything like this," said Mark Schoppe as he stared into a giant hole on part of the Tuscobia Trail. 

Over the weekend, a large whole ended up on part of the trail because of the storm.

"This part of the trail which is a railroad bed runs 75 miles from Rice Lake to Park Falls," said Schoppe. 

Schoppe is a member of the Sno-Gypsies Snowmobile Club out of Park Falls. He says this type of damage could take a while to fix.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here