Reported by the Beatrice Daily Sun.
A Wymore man was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife in August 2011.
Daniel Chapman, 55, was sentenced for killing Sandra Chapman, formerly Sandra Little, from Beatrice.
Sandra is a Beatrice High School graduate who was found dead on Aug. 11, 2011, in Cabool, Mo. She was 55 years old.
It was alleged that Daniel shot Sandra in the back several times as she was leaving a gas station the couple owned.
Following her death, a week-long manhunt for Daniel Chapman was held before he was captured in Buena Vista, Colo.
On Wednesday, Chapman pled guilty to second-degree murder. The Houston Herald reported he received a life sentence for the charge and an additional three years on an armed criminal action count.
Sandra’s sister, Debbie Allen, said the family is accepting of the outcome.
“We’re fine with this outcome,” Allen said. “The whole thing brings up a lot of hard stuff people don’t want to relive, but as a family we’re OK with what happened. We just want closure.”
A first-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty in Missouri, could have been pursued, though Allen said the process of the trial would have put added stress on Sandra’s family.
“The prosecutor advised we didn’t want to go to trial and go through that,” Allen said. “This saves us the heartache of reliving the whole situation in court. This is the better outcome. Nobody has to go through any trial.”
Daily Sun archives indicate Daniel attended Wymore High School but did not graduate.
Sandra was 18 years old when she married Daniel and the couple joined the Army. After being discharged from the military, they moved back to Beatrice where they had their first daughter. After moving to Casper, Wyo. in the late 1970s, the couple moved to Mountain View, Mo., and finally settled in Cabool. They had a second daughter in 1991. In 2001, the couple bought the gas station in Cabool.
According to a witness at the time of the murder, the Chapmans were inside the gas station on U.S. Business 60, when he told authorities he took two steps toward the business before he was waved off by Daniel.
The witness said Sandra ran toward the front door, and he saw Daniel fire a shot at her with a black semi-automatic pistol. He said he heard at least four more shots fired as he ran for safety at a nearby car wash.
After about five minutes, the witness told police he saw Daniel leave the parking lot in a truck. It was the last eyewitness account of Daniel’s whereabouts prior to his Colorado arrest.