SHERIDAN — In emotional statements given before Judge John Fenn in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday, family members of victims killed in a triple homicide March 29, 2020, asked for a sentence “as severe and as permanent as the crime.”
Following those statements, Fenn sentenced Dana Beartusk, 55, to three consecutive sentences of 45 years to life in prison.
Beartusk had pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder for the killing of Seana Fisher, 54; Mochdaveyano “Blackhawk” Fisher, 25; and Angelina Beartusk, 51.
The sentencing hearing conducted Tuesday, which lasted more than five hours, included testimony from law enforcement officials and a defense witness who discussed Dana Beartusk’s likely level of intoxication at the time of the crimes.
Sheridan County Attorney Dianna Bennett presented evidence showing the premeditated nature of the crimes and played a portion of an interview law enforcement conducted with a former coworker of Beartusk’s in which the coworker recounted Beartusk telling him he fantasized about killing people.
Defense attorney Marty Scott called an independent forensic toxicologist to discuss the level of his client’s intoxication the night of the crimes and argued that Beartusk had been “blackout drunk” and does not remember what happened. He also called relatives of Beartusk to testify as to the defendant’s history and personality.
Just before Fenn delivered the sentence, Beartusk also had a chance to speak. He told the judge he doesn’t know why he committed the murders and acknowledged, “sorry doesn’t even begin to cut it.”
While Scott argued for concurrent sentences, stating Beartusk deserves a chance — albeit slight — to walk out of prison some day, Fenn announced a sentence amounting to a 135-year prison term.
“I don’t think you’re all bad; very few criminal defendants are all bad,” Fenn said. “But some things cannot be changed. This is one of those. It’s not about rehabilitation or whether you’ll pose a danger to the community later, but about what was done. Some things you can’t take back.”