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

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Downtown Tomahawk filled with dozens of motorcycles yesterday for the "Wheels in Motion" Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet.

People could enter their bike in a number of contests in categories like "spectators' choice" and "most custom".

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Democrats say they are increasingly optimistic about their chances of knocking of Republican Gov. Scott Walker next year, even though a top tier candidate has yet to emerge and they're still recovering from a devastating 2016 election.

Democrats are gathering this weekend for the Wisconsin state party convention. They say liberals are energized in opposition both to President Donald Trump and Republicans closely tied to him like Walker.

Walker's approval rating has been below 50 percent since early 2014.

But their recent track record hasn't been good. Democrats are still trying to recover from Trump becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to carry Wisconsin since 1984. And Walker has been challenged plenty but has won three elections since 2010.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - The 6th Annual Woodruff Memorial Car Show featured cars of all makes and models. But this year, there was one item showcased that is rooted in the Northwoods.

"I'm here showing our 1936 Sunflower utility launch boat which was actually used as a guide boat back in the 30s," said boat owner Don Bergman.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Each county in the state of Wisconsin offers something unique. There are different scenic views, museums, and even interesting creatures like the Hodag.

That's why a group of people, also known as the Dairyland Walkers, travel around the state.

On Saturday, about 50 members of the Madison-based group visited Rhinelander. Oneida County is the 68th county they've walked.

+ Read More

SHEBOYGAN - SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - Authorities have identified two men who died when their single-engine plane crashed in a farm field in Sheboygan County.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office said Saturday the pilot was 67-year-old Dennis Hall of McHenry, Ill., and the passenger was 19-year-old Filip Smecko of Janesville, Wis.




+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Three bear cubs find themselves temporarily staying at Wild Instincts after someone illegally shot and killed the mother bear.

The DNR says the bear was shot on Wednesday, but it's still unknown who exactly shot the animal, or why they did it.

+ Read More

Play Video

HARSHAW - Memorial Day gives us the chance to remember those who died while serving our country. On Saturday, hundreds gathered at a Northwoods ceremony to pay their respects.

"It's an observance. It's not a celebration. It hurts too much to celebrate," said United States Marine Tim Bahr. "If we don't talk about those who gave it their all, who's going to? For us Memorial Day is pretty much every day."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here