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Husband of Slain TV Anchor Sentenced to Life Without Parole

January 6, 1993

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) _ A former police officer was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without possibility of parole for killing his wife, a television news anchorwoman.

Bradford King was convicted Dec. 14 of first-degree murder and possessing a firearm in committing a felony in the slaying of his wife, Diane Newton King. He said he will appeal.

Mrs. King was shot Feb. 9, 1991, in the driveway of the couple’s rural Marshall home in front of their two young children.

King maintained his innocence, as he did throughout the six-week trial.

″What occurred was a conspiracy to convict,″ King calmly told Circuit Judge Conrad Sindt. ″I have nothing but contempt for you.″

King has said he was the only person ever investigated in his wife’s killing.

He told police he was walking on the property behind the couple’s home at the time of the shooting and called police when he found his wife’s body.

King, 45, said the judge erred by not moving the case out of Calhoun County because of wide media attention and local pressure to convict him.

The judge did not respond to King’s remarks.

Mrs. King, 34, was the morning news anchor for WUHQ-TV, now WOTV, in Battle Creek.

Her family gathered in the courtroom to hear the sentencing, wearing buttons with her picture, as they did throughout the trial.

Her sister, Denise Verrier, tearfully read a victim’s impact statement in court.

″I have nightmares of her struggling, trying to get to the children,″ Verrier said as relatives wept. ″I remember how alone she was on the cold gravel driveway - all alone with only the sound of her crying children to be heard.″

At the time of the slaying King, a former Pontiac police officer, was a part-time criminal justice instructor at Western Michigan University.

Prosecutor Jon Sahli said in court that one reason King killed his wife was because she wanted to quit her job to stay home with their 3-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter. The children now live with Mrs. King’s mother and stepfather.

Friends of the victim also testified that Mrs. King was considering a divorce. At least two of King’s students told police they had an affair with him in the months before the murder.

Verrier said she believes King was enraged by the thought of having to find a full-time job and pay child support.

″He used to tell Diane that he liked being a celebrity because he was married to her,″ Verrier said earlier. ″He liked riding on Diane’s coattails.″

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