Former professional football player Anthony Darnell McClanahan has been sentenced to 15 years to Life in the Utah State Prison for killing his wife in Park City in November of 2017.
Third District Court Judge Patrick Corum on Monday handed down the sentence, saying he didn’t believe for a minute that the 48-year-old defendant was remorseful.
The hearing was held after McClanahan pled Guilty to the Homicide charge last month.
Park City Police officers reported that on the early morning of November 2nd of 2017, McClanahan was seen crawling on the ground near the Park Regency Condos, as he flagged an officer down. He claimed two or three men had attacked his family.
His wife, 28-year-old Keri Gauf McClanahan, known as KC, was found in one of the Regency condos, dead from multiple stab wounds to her neck. Police found no indication of assailants inside the condos.
McClanahan entered a Guilty plea after a preliminary hearing earlier this year.
On Monday the court heard from five of KC’s siblings. Sister Kristine Schmidt said KC was a sweet generous person whose kindness extended to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Puerto Rico.
“KC was a bright light that was extinguished way too early by a senseless act of brutality,” Schmidt said. “There was just no need to do what he did. You could have walked away and run away. Done so many things instead of killing her. Instead he chose to not accept responsibility. With lies and demands for others to lie for him. He has tried to claim diminished mental capacity to avoid accepting responsibility for his actions. He took a deal because he was out of options and without expressing remorse for his actions. I do not believe he is sorry for what he has done.”
Her sister Heather said that McClanahan’s pride and ego could not let his wife go. She said KC was devoted to her husband and tried to help him, even though in time she came to fear him.
She said that after their marriage, the defendant became very controlling and jealous. Just a couple of months before the murder, she said McClanahan punched his wife in the face.
Heather also said that everyone could see that the killing was pre-planned.
“I ask the court to please hear my plea when I say this man should never be allowed into society, as I know this will not be his last murder,” Heather continued. “If given the chance he will kill again. I urge you to please hear this and know this to be true. This is a man who has no remorse for what he has done. He enjoys manipulating people and enjoys harming people. It makes him feel powerful. I beg you today to take away his power.
McClanahan read a statement to the court, saying he was very sorry and that all he could ask was forgiveness from KC’s family. He said he’s been working hard spiritually and focusing on treatment he can get in prison.
“I thank you for this opportunity to make myself a better person spiritually and learn new tools that I can use in and out of prison,” McClanahan said. “Hopefully KC's family can forgive me over time. I'm sorry. To let everyone know I loved my wife KC very much. She was my soul mate; she was my rock. She traveled to various areas of different hurricanes. This is something I need to add in, she traveled to Texas, she traveled to Puerto Rico she gave herself. It was unselfish what she did. She helped so many folks while I was there. I remember at one point in time we felt like we were the ones being stranded because we had to wear dirty clothes. She said, don't worry about that. There's no washers and dryers, no electricity, we’ll just wash it in the ocean. That was KC. I love KC very much.”
Judge Corum said he was imposing the statutory sentence, and the defendant’s future would be up to the Board of Pardons.
“I don’t believe for a minute that Mr. McClanahan is remorseful in any way,” Judge Corum continued. “I suspect that will come across the board and they will make the just decision under the law. The sentence is 15 years to Life imposed forthwith. It is my belief that Mr. McClanahan will be committed for the rest of his life in the Utah State Prison and they will not release him. Based on the circumstances of this crime and based on his obvious lack of remorse.”
One of McClanahan’s public defenders, John Johnson, said that McClanahan had decided on the Guilty Plea to avoid putting KC’s family through any further trauma. Johnson told reporters he had spent a lot of time with the defendant, and said McClanahan was very remorseful.
“That’s just horrible and I've spent a lot of time with Anthony and he as I mentioned before he deserved to listen to the evidence in the preliminary hearing,” Johnson explained. “As a result of that he did a lot of soul searching and he didn't want to put his family through anymore trauma.
“What happened, what caused him to do this?” A reporter on hand asked.
“What caused him to do this?” Johnson repeated the question.
“Was it a crime of passion?” The reporter asked.
“I don't know.” Johnson replied.
“He never explained that to you?” The reporter followed up.
“No, and I never asked him,” Johnson said. “That’s the one question we just don’t—you know. He was very open with me and again it was all about sorrow and remorse and tragedy and how things can’t be undone. I'm sure if we had another day to go back in time, he probably would do it and not commit the act that he did.”
Johnson was asked if the defendant recalled the killing. Johnson said merely that McClanahan accepts responsibility.