McLinn Back In Court, Attorney Says She Committed The Crime

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) A Topeka teenager charged with first degree murder in the killing of a Lawrence man appeared in Douglas County District Court Thursday.

Nineteen year-old Sarah Gonzales McLinn was in court to hear her preliminary hearing date.

Its been more than 2 months since Harold Sasko was found dead in his Lawrence home and McLinn arrested in a Florida National Park several days later.

McLinn is charged with first degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Topeka Cici's Pizza restaurant owner Harold Sasko.

"It is a very complicated case, I've had a lot of murder cases but this one is different," said Carl Cornwell, McLinn's attorney.

McLinn was reported missing January 14th. Sasko's body was found January 17th inside his Lawrence home. Lawrence police say he was subdued and killed with an edged weapon. About a week later, rangers found McLinn at Everglades National Park in Florida inside Sasko's vehicle allegedly with drugs, guns and knives. McLinn is also charged with stealing Sasko's vehicle .

"What got my client to that day and why she did what she did, I am having trouble wrapping my brain housing group around that," said Cornwell.

Cornwell says McLinn has undergone psychological testing and she may be sent to Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility for more evaluations. He says more information will be revealed at the preliminary hearing.

"There will be some interesting things that come out about Sasko. You know you just want to say to 'Sarah it's gonna be okay, you're going to be fine', but she is just this little girl and I'm just telling you folks it's sad. It's obvious to know what happened, and everyone is going to know that she committed the crime," said Cornwell.

13 News was unable to speak with Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson who is prosecuting this murder case because he had several cases after the McLinn hearing.

If convicted, McLinn could get a Hard 50 sentence, meaning she would have to serve 50 years in prison before parole. McLinn's preliminary hearing is set for May 16th at Douglas County District Court.