The sentencing for Michael George, who was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last week, has been scheduled for Nov. 7.
A jury on Friday found Michael Eugene George, Jr., 34, guilty of first-degree murder, attempted possession with intent to distribute at least 3.5 grams but less than 100 grams of methamphetamine, attempted aggravated robbery for trying to take money and/or narcotics by force or threat of bodily harm while armed with a semi-automatic handgun, aggravated assault or battery, and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
All of the charges stem from the April 19, 2015, shooting death of 21-year-old Karlton Waechter.
The prosecution’s case focused heavily on eyewitness testimony and evidence found at or near the scene of the shooting that pointed to George first attempting to rob Mariah Duran, Garden City, of a half-ounce of methamphetamine, then threatening her and hitting her with a gun before shooting Waechter and fleeing the scene.
A case management conference was held Monday in Judge Robert Frederick’s courtroom, where Frederick scheduled George’s sentencing for 1:15 p.m. Nov. 7.
According to Assistant Finney County Attorney Nick Vrana, George is facing 25 years to life in prison for the first-degree murder charge, and Frederick has the option to run the sentences for the other charges either concurrently or consecutively to the murder sentence.
Jeffrey Rigdon, 35, is scheduled for sentencing at 4 p.m. Dec. 5 after entering into a plea agreement with the Finney County Attorney’s office Monday.
Rigdon had been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit distribution or possession with intent to distribute at least 3.5 grams but less than 100 grams of methamphetamine, attempted aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, aggravated battery and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with Waechter’s death but agreed to plead guilty to the conspiracy to commit distribution or possession charge in exchange for testimony he gave against George. The other charges were dismissed.
During George’s trial, Rigdon testified that he had been given instructions by Cesar Fierro-Acevedo, 29, who was sentenced Aug. 1 to more than 13 years in prison for second-degree murder and solicitation to commit robbery for his role in Waechter’s murder, to get a half-ounce of methamphetamine back from Duran.
According to a copy of the plea agreement, the state will recommend Rigdon be sentenced to 138 months in prison.