Jury decides man who killed his ex-girlfriend should get mandatory Hard 50 sentence

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Dustin Hilt

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A jury unanimously decided Friday that Dustin Hilt will go to prison for a minimum of 50 years before he’s eligible for parole for killing Keighley Ann Alyea in September 2009.

Earlier this year, the Kansas Supreme Court determined the Hard 50 sentence given to Hilt by a judge must be vacated and a jury must decide Hilt’s sentence. Their ruling was based on a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court last June, in which the country’s highest court ruled that Hard 50 sentences must come from a jury. Those imposed by a judge are unconstitutional, according to the Supreme Court.

Naturally, the vacating of the sentence caused Alyea’s family and friends some distress.

But on Friday, June 26, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced the jury determined Hilt should receive a Hard 50 for the first degree murder. The jury also sentenced him to nearly 14 years for aggravated kidnapping and more than five years for aggravated robbery. Those sentences are to run consecutively to the Hard 50.

KeighleyKeighley Alyea was 18-years-old when she disappeared from Overland Park in late September 2009. Several days later her body was found in Cass County, Mo.


Click on this link for previous coverage about the case.