Anchorage 27.0 °F
Fairbanks -6.0 °F
Juneau 40.0 °F
Landers Sentenced to More Than 100 Years in Prison
A 74-year-old Eagle River man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his wife.
Keith Landers was sentenced Friday in Anchorage. An Anchorage jury convicted Landers of first-degree murder and attempted murder in July.
Landers killed his wife, Rose Evangeline Landers, in the middle of a bitter divorce in November of 2004. The two were fighting over the division of their property, when he pulled out a gun, chased her up the stairs and shot her in the back of the head. He also fired at family friend Jorene Hout, but she managed to avoid the bullet.
During the sentencing Hout told the judge her health has dramatically declined since the incident. Her heart is now failing, and she has post-traumatic stress disorder. Rose's daughter also spoke to the judge. She said the image of her mother's blood is seared in her memory, and she doubts she will ever be as happy as she was before the murder.
Lander's defense during the trial was that he was in a disassociated mental state when he shot Rose and had been a victim of years of abuse, but Friday Judge Philip Volland said he does not believe Landers was disassociated or that he was a victim of abuse. Volland sentenced Landers to 99 years for the murder charge plus 40 for attempted murder. Thirty of those are concurrent with the 99 years, so the total is 109 years behind bars.
"I was very relieved as the judge was talking to find that he really got it, he understood what was happening," Hout said.
"I don't know that there will ever be closure. I mean, my mom's dead and you don't get over that, but it's the final step in the judicial process,” Richard and Renee Breitkreutz, Rose Landers' children, said. "I'm satisfied the judge did not consider his age in giving him the rehabilitation factor. He is serving a life sentence."
Hout said, "I hope that at some point in the time during his incarceration that he realizes the impact of what he did, in the fact that he killed the one person who really loved him."
Keith Landers only spoke once Friday when he stood up and told the judge, "I feel no need to make a statement."
Rose Landers' children say he has never shown remorse for the murder.