- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Yutan man sentenced to life in prison in the 1999 slaying of his wife has been denied parole.

Mark Schnabel was convicted of beating 40-year-old Sandy Schnabel, placing her under the wheel of the family minivan and setting the vehicle on fire. Authorities said he tried to make it look like an accident, but Nebraska State Patrol investigators found evidence that it wasn’t while they were searching the couple’s home.

Schnabel was arrested after his wife’s funeral, and eventually pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. He was denied parole Thursday, according to KETV-TV (https://bit.ly/2f52w3C ).

Judge Mary Gilbride had intended to sentence Schnabel to life in prison without parole, but she failed to include a minimum sentence in her order. Gilbride tried to amend her sentence, but the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the attempt in 2000, making Schnabel eligible for parole after 10 years in prison.

The Nebraska Board of Parole didn’t grant Schnabel a hearing until this year. Schnabel’s son Trevor, 27, testified at the hearing and was the only child of three who attended. The youngest child, 21-year-old Sarah Schnabel, wrote a letter that was read by her cousin. Sarah witnessed the killing.

Sandy Schnabel was a popular high school volleyball coach, and a group of her former volleyball players all attended the hearing.

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Information from: KETV-TV, https://www.ketv.com

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