A Virginia man was sentenced to life in prison in Cass County court this afternoon.
72-year-old Robert D. Harris was in court today for sentencing after a Cass County jury found him guilty in May of murdering 68-year-old Kathleen Wzientek and 64-year-old Brenda Crum
Harris entered Wzientek’s home early in the afternoon of Sunday, January 10th, 2021, and assaulted her son, David Miller during a confrontation at the front door before cornering the two women in Wzientek’s bedroom and shooting them both in the head at close range. Wzientek had ended a long time off again, on-again relationship with Harris the previous night.
Harris was found guilty on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder stemming from his attempt to shoot David Miller while entering the home.
Cass County State’s Attorney Craig Miller requested Harris be sentenced to life in prison without parole on the murder charges, and 30 years for the attempted murder charge.
Cass County Judge Timothy J. Wessel needed no recess time at the close of arguments and sentenced Harris to two terms of natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole for each murder.
Wessel also sentenced Harris to 25 years for the attempted murder charge, and 20 years for the firearm enhancement charge which are to be served consecutively with the life sentences.
Following the court’s decision, State’s Attorney Miller said the State was pleased with the decision. “I think it’s a just decision. Most of it is mandatory by statute, but at least now that that’s done and this part of the trial is over, the family can have some sort of closure. But as far as what I think, it’s a just decision for the outcome.”
Prior to the court handing down the sentence, Kathleen Wzientek’s identical twin sister, Coni Cox made a victim impact statement on behalf of both families in which she called Harris’ actions senseless, cruel and devastating, also saying that for the first time in 68 years she had to celebrate their birthday without her twin sister.