Dixie Shanahan — the western Iowa woman who murdered her abusive husband and hid his body in a bedroom for more than a year — was sentenced this morning. Shanahan was found guilty of second-degree murder on April 30th, and this morning, Judge Charles Smith gave Shanahan the mandatory sentence of 50 years in prison. Shanahan must serve at least 35 years before becoming eligible for parole. Judge Smith told Shanahan that no human being should have to endure the kind of abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, but Smith said a jury of Shelby County citizens found her guilty of second-degree murder, and a 50-year sentence is the only sentence he could give. Shanahan’s attorney, Greg Steensland, had filed a motion for a new trial, saying that the evidence in the case did not support the verdict, but Judge Smith denied the motion. Shanahan can still appeal the ruling; she has 30 days to do so.
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