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Cop Who Killed Wife Given Reduced Minimum Sentence

Posted November 22, 2013, 03:27 PM HST Updated November 22, 2013, 04:11 PM HST
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Ken Mathison. Department of Public Safety 2009 photo.

Ken Mathison, the former police sergeant convicted in the 1992 kidnapping and murder of his wife, has been given a reduced minimum sentence.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority on Thursday maintained Mathison’s sentence of life in prison on the murder conviction, but reduced his minimum sentence to 25 years.

That was the same sentence he received in 1996 after being convicted of the brutal slaying of his wife, Yvonne, along Highway 11 just above Mountain View.

During a hearing in 2009, the parole board had increased his minimum sentence on the murder conviction to 90 years. However, another hearing was mandated by a 2012 Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruling that said an increased sentence required the introduction of substantial new evidence or information.

That hearing was held on Sept. 25, with Mathison testifying via videoconferencing from the Arizona prison where he is being held.

Tommy Johnson, administrator for the paroling authority, said under the new minimum Mathison would become eligible for parole on Nov. 7, 2020.

He said the earliest a parole hearing would likely be scheduled is September 2020.

The 20-year sentence for kidnapping remains unchanged because it was not contested, Johnson said.

Mathison’s Honolulu attorney, Richard Gronna, could not be reached for comment.

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