Bainbridge pastor who killed wife is resentenced

Bainbridge pastor who killed wife is resentenced
Nicholas Hacheney
PORT ORCHARD - A former Bainbridge Island church pastor was re-sentenced Friday for killing his wife in 1997, following an appeal that led to the overturning of his life sentence by the Washington State Supreme Court.

Nick Hacheney, 37, was given a 26-year, eight-month sentence for killing Dawn Hacheney. A jury concluded that he strangled her with a plastic bag before setting their East Bremerton home on fire.

Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Anna M. Laurie could have also chosen a 20-year sentence. She said she used her "discretion" in sentencing Hacheney based on "what the jury found. That Mr. Hacheney killed his wife."

The 37-year-old was brought from the Monroe Correctional Complex to the Kitsap County jail for the re-sentencing. Having already served about seven years in jail and in prison, he could be eligible for release in 17 to 20 years under Department of Corrections' sentencing guidelines.

Hacheney was originally given a life sentence without the possibility of parole after his trial in 2002, after jurors found that he should receive an "aggravated" sentence because of the second felony — arson — for burning the home down.

But the state Supreme Court in May 2007 overturned the "aggravated" stipulation of his sentence because Dawn Hacheney's death was caused by the arson that followed it.

Dennis Tienhaara, Dawn's oldest brother, told Laurie at sentencing that Hacheney's now "inadequate" sentence "sends a dangerous message to criminals in our state." He said that it also sends a "pathetic message that our courts no longer value human life."

"Where is the justice in enabling a cold-hearted, emotionless killer to live out more years in freedom than the years that we were blessed to share with Dawn?" he asked Laurie.

In arguing for a lower end sentence, Hacheney's attorney, Mark Yelish, said the 37-year-old has been a "model inmate" while behind bars.

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