An 86-year-old guy is sentenced to lifestyles plus 3 years in a just about 50-year-old homicide case in Door County.

Richard J. Pierce is escorted out of Door County County Courtroom on Friday after he used to be sentenced to lifestyles in jail for the 1975 homicide of his spouse Carol Jean Pierce. Richard Pierce additionally gained a three-year sentence for shifting the frame after the homicide.

STARJON BAY. An 86-year-old guy convicted in April of killing his spouse, who disappeared with out a hint just about 47 years in the past, used to be sentenced on Friday to lifestyles in jail plus 3 years in jail.

As a result of Richard J. Pierce used to be convicted of first-degree homicide, a lifestyles sentence passed down by way of Door County Circuit Courtroom Pass judgement on David Weber used to be obligatory.

As well as, Pierce used to be convicted of exhuming the corpse as a result of he moved Carol Jean’s frame after her homicide. For this, he gained the utmost sentence of 3 years, which Weber stated could be served after a lifestyles sentence as required by way of Assistant District Lawyer Nick Grode, and no longer concurrently as required by way of protection legal professional Keith Zuidmulder. Pierce is credited with the 329 days he has already spent in custody.

“The defendant no longer best took the whole thing from Carol Jean, he additionally took the whole thing from her circle of relatives,” Grode stated all over the listening to. “The defendant concealed the frame of Carol Jean…disadvantaged him of the chance to mention good-bye for 46 years.”

Pierce used to be arrested in October 2018 at his trailer house in Cheboygan, Michigan in reference to the disappearance of his spouse Carol Jean Pierce on or about September 5, 1975. On the time, Richard Pierce used to be serving with the United States Coast Guard at Sturgeon. Bay and lifestyles with Carol Jean within the town trailer. He used to be because of retire about two weeks after the inside track of Carol Jean’s disappearance and transfer his trailer to Michigan.

Since then, there was no hint of Carol Jean and her frame has no longer been discovered.

3 relations of Carol Jean Pierce gave sufferer testimony on the sentencing listening to: her sister Janine Rowley; her brother Brian Fillion and her son Mark Clark. Everybody requested Weber to factor the utmost allowable sentence.

“(Pierce) took away our alternative to re-ignite our sisterly courting,” Rowley stated. “If Pierce had any decency, you could possibly have instructed the court docket the place the frame is in order that Carol Jean will have a correct burial. I am hoping and pray that you just rot in jail.”

“Mr Pierce, you had an opportunity to are living your lifestyles. She by no means had an opportunity,” Clarke stated.

Pierce used to be given the chance to make a pre-sentencing remark, which is his proper, however he refused. He maintained his innocence all the time that Carol Jean will have escaped, and Zuidmulder stated all over the listening to that Pierce continues to care for his innocence.

Earlier than sentencing, Weber famous that judges want to believe 3 sides of a case when sentencing: the gravity of the case; the desire to give protection to the inhabitants; persona and conceivable rehabilitation of the defendant.

Richard J. Pierce speaks with his attorney, Keith Zuidmulder, during Friday's sentencing hearing in Door County Court.  Pierce, 86, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of his wife Carol Jean Pierce in 1975, plus three years for moving her body.

Richard J. Pierce speaks along with his legal professional, Keith Zuidmulder, all over Friday’s sentencing listening to in Door County Courtroom. Pierce, 86, used to be sentenced to lifestyles in jail for first-degree homicide in reference to the disappearance of his spouse Carol Jean Pierce in 1975, plus 3 years for shifting her frame.

In regards to the case, Weber cited no longer best the homicide itself, but in addition the affect Carol Jean’s disappearance had on her circle of relatives, together with the emotional and mental trauma led to by way of the truth that her frame used to be by no means discovered.

“Through taking any person else’s lifestyles, an individual deprives every other of the best present that this individual could have,” Weber stated. “Hurt is sort of a ripple impact; it spreads… Through taking Carol Jean’s lifestyles, (Pierce) made it unimaginable for her to rebuild that courting (along with her circle of relatives).… I listen feedback from the sufferers, and I believe they are honest.”

Right through six days of testimony that started on April 19, Grode introduced a wealth of proof, together with six places on Pierce’s assets in Cheboygan the place canines, educated to discover even lines of human stays by way of odor, indicated the presence of stays all over a seek in 2018. yr.

“There are a few things we should not have to end up (to get a to blame verdict),” Grode instructed jurors. “First, that is how the defendant killed Carol Jean Pierce. We want to end up that he led to her demise. We additionally do not want to end up time, we additionally do not want to end up why.”

Zuidmulder stated in her last argument that with out a frame, a homicide weapon, or different bodily proof, the state by no means met its burden of evidence. The protection didn’t name any witnesses all over the trial.

The jury started deliberating round 1:00 p.m. on April 28 and returned round the similar time tomorrow with a to blame verdict. The exhumation fee used to be in accordance with the accusation that he killed his spouse in Sturgeon Bay and transported the frame to Michigan with out correct authority.

Touch Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or cclough@doorcountyadvocate.com.

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This text at first gave the impression within the Inexperienced Bay Press-Gazette: Richard Pierce sentenced to lifestyles in jail for killing his spouse in Sturgeon Bay

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