Butte Woman Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Butte Woman Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A 46-year-old Butte woman who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing her boyfriend last summer has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. Verna Bell was sentenced Thursday by District Judge Kurt Krueger for the July 27 death of 41-year-old Richard Hoffmann III. Krueger also ordered her to pay more than $16,000 in restitution.

Bell called 911 on the night of the shooting and told police she shot Hoffmann because he was choking her and she was tired of being abused. Police said they did not see any marks on Bell's neck. Hoffmann was shot in the stomach and head and died in the hospital emergency room. In 1992, Bell was given a five-year deferred sentence on a criminal endangerment charge for shooting her husband in the chest outside a Butte bar. Her husband survived the shooting.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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