A bench trial in Madison County Circuit Court, in which both sides agree to the evidence, began Tuesday for Brian Gary, 48, who was convicted of killing Carol Newby, 60. Gary received a 50-year sentence after pleading guilty, but won a trial with the unusual argument to a court of appeals that the penalty should have been tougher, life in prison, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Gary's public defender is Tyler Bateman, who represented Brian Pinkas in a 2004 case. Pinkas pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend, and later won a trial by pointing out the sentencing judge did not add a mandatory 25-year sentence, for using a firearm, to his 20-year term. Bateman argued in court that Pinkas actually committed only involuntary manslaughter, but was convicted of first-degree murder Sept. 13 and will be sentenced to no less than 45 years, the newspaper said.