and without emotion, James Kraig Kahler is escorted from the Osage
County Courthouse Monday afternoon after receiving a recommendation
of the death penalty, following his conviction for capital murder
Alton /Topeka Capital Journal
Wayne White | Managing Editor
LYNDON—After deliberating for 55 minutes Monday, Osage
County jurors unanimously recommended the death penalty for
James Kraig Kahler. The sentence recommendation followed the
jury’s verdict last Thursday that Kahler was guilty
of capital murder.
The jury convicted Kahler, 48, of killing his wife, Karen
Kahler, 44, his daughters, Emily, 18, and Lauren, 16; and
Karen’s grandmother, Dorothy Wight, 89, in Wight’s
Burlingame home on Nov. 28, 2009.
Kahler was charged with capital murder, four counts of first-degree
murder, and one count of aggravated burglary.
Following Monday’s death penalty verdict, members of
Karen Kahler’s family gathered on the east steps of
the Osage County Courthouse to make a statement to the press.
Lynn Denton, Karen Kahler’s sister, spoke for the group
that included her brother Bill Hetrick, his wife Donna, and
Carmen Esch, introduced as Hetrick’s and Denton’s
cousin and Dorothy Wight’s granddaughter.
“For the past year and a half, we had a dark cloud around
us that we associated with this trial,” Denton said.
“Now that it’s over, the cloud is still there.
The cloud wasn’t about the trial, it’s about our
loss. The verdict and sentence doesn’t bring our family
back. The Kahlers, Wights, Dentons and Hetricks still have
a lot of healing to do.”
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