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Kyle Hardwick Sentenced to Consecutive Life Terms for 2021 Reno County Murders

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Kyle Hardwick will spend the remainder of his life in prison after being found guilty of the August 2021 murders of Marion Edward “Ed” Bates and Phillip Anstine.

Reno County District Judge Keith Schroeder imposed two consecutive life sentences after a jury found Hardwick, from Eudora, guilty in early February of pre-meditated first-degree murder. Hardwick would have to serve 100 years before being eligible for parole.   An additional eight-month sentence was imposed for felony theft of a pickup belonging to Anstine and solicitation to commit perjury.

Judge Schroeder denied a motion by Hardwick’s attorney to impose a concurrent hard 25 sentence on the murder counts, the only possible departure permitted under Kansas law. Hardwick’s attorney cited mental health and drug issues and a claim by Hardwick that the murders were in self-defense.

The burned bodies of Anstine and Bates, who had been shot to death, were found on August 29, 2021, at a secluded property in eastern Reno County after friends of the two men reported them missing.

An investigation led to the arrest of Hardwick in early September 2021.

In passing sentence, Judge Schroeder noted the apparent lack of compassion shown to the victims including the burning of their bodies, saying “You’re not getting any compassion.”

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