Man Sentenced to 84 Years for Killing Former Father-in-Law

Man Sentenced to 84 Years for Killing Former Father-in-Law

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PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and related charges for shooting his former father-in-law has been sentenced to 84 years in prison.

Nor is that the worst penalty for Ryan Neil Sorensen, 31, of Spanish Fork, Utah, who fired 25 shots from a pair of 9mm handguns into Frank M. "Skip" Smith Jr., 63, of Port Hadlock, Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Majhan said Thursday.

Besides prison time, the judge barred Sorensen from any contact with his daughter until they turn 18.

"Because of his acts, he'll never have his daughters again," Majhan said. "He won't see their T-ball games, won't be able to take them to Disney World or Disneyland, won't be able to attend their high school graduation or walk them down the aisle. He won't be able to hold his grandchildren.

"That is his punishment, not what I do."

Sorensen pleaded guilty last month to murder, kidnapping and assault in a rampage in which he drove from his home in Utah to Smith's Services, ordered two employees to tie themselves up and opened fire at the wrecking yard owner on April 29.

His lawyer, public defender Richard Davies, who argued that mental illness played a role in the killing, said he probably would appeal the sentence because he believes it exceeds the standard range without cause and because Majhan twice refused to step aside as judge.

The judge ruled that Davies waited too long to file an affidavit of prejudice and rejected the defense lawyer's interpretation of state guidelines covering the prison term.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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