COLUMBIANA, Ala. (AP) — A former campus police officer convicted of manslaughter in the death of his wife, an adult model who posted racy photos online, was sentenced to 16 years in prison Monday by a judge who said the man still hadn’t taken responsibility for the death.
William Jeffrey West, 47, will get credit for the three years he has spent in jail since his arrest in the death of Kathleen Dawn West, 42, news outlets reported. He faced a maximum 20 years in prison.
Kat West was found dead in January 2018 along the street in front of the couple’s suburban home in Calera, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Birmingham. Jeff West killed her with a blow to the head from a liquor bottle, prosecutors contended, but the defense argued she died in an accidental fall after a night of heavy drinking.
Shelby County Circuit Judge Bill Bostick told West, an Army veteran who had worked as a campus officer at Birmingham-Southern College, that he had plenty of opportunities to accept responsibility for his wife’s death.
“For your own reasons you don’t intend to do that so the jury had to do that for you,” he said.
The judge rejected pleas from couple’s 15-year-old daughter, Logan West, during the hearing to set her father free.
“He has always been my shield against the world,” she told the judge. “Please give me my father back as soon as possible.”
West’s mother, Sue West, and mother-in-law, Nancy Martin, who has publicly supported William West since his arrest, testified on behalf of the man. Martin said the verdict against her son-in-law was a total shock.
“We have lost a daughter. Their daughter does not need to lose a father,” Martin said.
Kathleen West publicly posted lingerie photos online and charged viewers to see more revealing images. The defense told jurors during opening statements that her adult pictures — posted under the name “Kitty Kat West” — did not cause discord between the couple and that her husband assisted her.