Despite family's pleas, killer's sentence is reduced for '91 murder

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 7:00 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- Instead of a life sentence, Ansel Wolf Hofstetter will now serve 40 years for the 1991 murder of convenience store clerk Linda Miller.

Miller's daughter, who was 17 months old at the time of the killing, said this wasn't supposed to ever happen.

"From the time I was growing up until now, he was supposed to serve life. He wasn't supposed to get out," said Trista Miller, Linda's daughter.

Miller made a tearful plea to keep Hofstetter's life sentence in place.

Hofstetter benefitted from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year declaring mandatory life sentences for minors unconstitutional.

Hofstetter was convicted as an adult of aggravated murder at the age of 16 in 1992.

"I am a much different person than the 16-year-old that pulled the trigger," said Hofstetter. "I am rehabilitated."

Defense attorneys had requested a 25-year sentence.

Before issuing the new sentence, Pierce County Judge Kathryn Nelson told Hofstetter, "There needs to be much accountability for this crime."

Hofstetter showed no emotion when he heard he could be released from prison when he's 56 years old.

Linda Miller's daughter Trista was devastated.

"It makes me miss my mom," said Miller. "It makes me realize there is no justice."

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