A 52-year-old Kansas City man on Friday was sentenced to more than 54 years in prison for killing a world-renowned dog trainer in Kansas City, Kan.
Darrell Lee Broxton was sentenced in Wyandotte County District Court, where a jury earlier this year found him guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Peter Belmont Jr.
Belmont, 69, a retired art teacher and widely known dog show judge, handler and breeder of Afghan hounds, was found dead inside his home in western Wyandotte County in December 2012.
Belmont was hacked to death with an object such as a hatchet or ax, according to trial testimony.
Property stolen from his house later was found in Broxton’s apartment in Kansas City.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Sheryl Lidtke argued Friday that Broxton, who had more than 30 prior convictions, deserved the maximum sentence for the “cruel and atrocious” killing.
She said Belmont was senselessly killed so his property could be stolen and sold to buy drugs.
Defense attorney Paul Dent cited Broxton’s age and poor health when he asked the judge to consider a lesser sentence. Dent noted that all of Broxton’s prior convictions were for property crimes like burglary and theft.
Friends and family of Broxton asked the judge for mercy, saying they did not believe he was capable of committing such a violent crime.
District Judge J. Dexter Burdette said he found that “nothing about the crime whatsoever” merits a lesser sentence. He imposed the maximum sentence under state sentencing guidelines on the murder charge of 54 years and five months. He also imposed consecutive sentences of seven months each for burglary and theft.
“This was an intentional, violent and depraved crime,” Burdette said.