Shue sentenced to more than 11 years in prison
By justine wettschreck Daily Globe WORTHINGTON -- As Judge Jeffrey L. Flynn pronounced sentencing on Kenneth Shue, the defendant showed virtually no reaction other than the raising of an eyebrow and a quick glance at his attorney. "At long last, Mr.
By justine wettschreck
WORTHINGTON -- As Judge Jeffrey L. Flynn pronounced sentencing on Kenneth Shue, the defendant showed virtually no reaction other than the raising of an eyebrow and a quick glance at his attorney.
"At long last, Mr. Shue," the judge said, "it is my turn."
Shue, 40, convicted of several felonies including kidnapping and second-degree assault in November after a four-day jury trial, was sentenced to 136 months imprisonment with the commissioner of corrections for the kidnapping charge, a double upward departure from the sentencing guidelines.
Shue will end up serving more than seven years incarceration, with the remainder served as supervised release provided he behaves well in prison.
For the second-degree assault charge, Shue was sentenced to 33 months in prison, the mandatory maximum, to be served concurrently.
He is also to register as a predatory offender.
Shue was arrested in October 2004 after Nobles County deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call in Rushmore. At Shue's home, deputies found a woman who was bruised and beaten. She claimed Shue had beaten and sexually abused her.
"This is one of those rare and substantial cases that justifies an upward departure," Nobles County Assistant Attorney John D. Gross told Flynn Wednesday morning. "We request the court impose the maximum sentence on the kidnapping charges."
Gross also asked that the sentence for the assault be consecutive instead of concurrent.
He listed his extensive work experience over the years, telling the judge, "I have never seen a case like this."
Defense attorney Christina Wietzema asked the judge to vacate the kidnapping charge. She told Flynn the prosecution was "trying to have their cake and eat it, too" by imposing sentence on both the kidnapping and the assault charge.
Wietzema said the facts of the kidnapping were less severe than in many cases, since the victim was not forced off the street at gun or knifepoint, was not locked in and had left and returned to the residence more than once.
Wietzema felt the sentence should be concurrent rather than consecutive, pointing out Shue was not convicted of the most severe counts he was charged with.
When Flynn gave Shue an opportunity to speak, Shue said he didn't know what to say about quoting any laws, then went on to talk about a case he felt pertained to his situation.
He also said it was never made clear what he assaulted the victim with.
"It is my life," he said. "I'd like to know what I assaulted her with."
Shue admitted he was in the wrong when he beat the victim and that he had thought about it for the past year while sitting in jail.
"We were getting pretty good at having arguments," Shue said. "I should have, at that time, got a grip on myself. I was in such a rage, such a state of mind.
"... I'm sure (the victim) was scared to death. I do hold myself accountable for it. As far as holding her against her will, I didn't do that. ... I'm willing to do the time and file my appeals."
Before handing down Shue's sentence, Flynn spoke to him, telling him this case had generated more public interest than any he had seen in the last 20 years.
Flynn spoke of the many people who had contacted him and offered unsolicited advice on what Shue's sentence should be.
"Most of the suggestions would violate the Eighth Amendment," Flynn said.
He said he also found it notable that the professionals who had testified had said they had never seen anyone treated as sadistically and savagely as in this case.
Flynn called Shue's behavior barbaric, cruel, depraved and brutal, and said he would like to sentence him consecutively and more harshly on all charges, but the law did not enable him to do so. He made it very clear he was following the letter of the law, which states he could only sentence Shue for the two most severe convictions and, since he had made an upward departure on the kidnapping charge, the sentences had to be concurrent.
Shue had pleaded guilty in June to the second- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges and one count of domestic assault, striking a plea bargain with a cap of 244 months imprisonment. He withdrew that guilty plea in July, telling Flynn he was innocent of the charges and wanted a chance to prove it.
It was those three charges of which he was found not guilty, although he was convicted of kidnapping, second-degree assault, third- and fifth-degree assault, terroristic threat and false imprisonment.