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Crime and Courts

VIDEO: Mitchell Sentenced To 'Hard 50' Years In Death Of Tanya Tandoc

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Mitchell appears in court Thursday.

Curtis Mitchell, the Wichita-area man convicted in the murder of local chef and KMUW food commentator Tanya Tandoc, was sentenced today to a hard 50, a conviction which mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for 50 years.

Mitchell pleaded guilty last month to killing Tandoc on June 3 in her home, where he had been living for several months prior to the murder. Tandoc was the owner of the restaurant Tanya's Soup Kitchen in Wichita.

A clean-shaven Mitchell, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, appeared in Sedgwick County court before District Judge Terry Pullman.

“On the one sentence of murder in the first degree the law imposes the sentence of 50 years on the provisions of the statute for first degree murder that will be a life sentence," Pullman told Mitchell. "You will serve every day of 50 years in jail, less credit for time you have already served in jail up to this point in time.”

Mitchell declined to seek a lesser sentence which would have made him eligible for parole after 25 years in prison. District Attorney Marc Bennett said after the sentencing he’s glad for Tandoc’s family that the case is over and there was no trial in what he describes as a tragic situation.

"Now you're just left with the fallout of the results," he said. "I mean, everybody who's the victim of a homicide has got people who are terribly affected but now we’re just left for the family and friends of Ms. Tandoc to deal with her loss."

Bennett said Mitchell was given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing, but declined. He will be 97 years old before he has the opportunity to appear before a parole board in 2065.