Man pleads guilty in millionaire's murder

Louis Wilkerson (Source: Boone County Jail)
Louis Wilkerson (Source: Boone County Jail)

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky man has pleaded guilty in the kidnapping of a former Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist whose burned body was found in Indiana.

Louis Wilkerson admitted in a plea bargain on Tuesday that he helped his mother kidnap 73-year-old millionaire Walter Sartory, hold him in their basement and then burn his body in a field after he died.

The state dropped a murder count, allowing Wilkerson to plead guilty to kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and exploitation of an adult. Prosecutors want a 30 -year sentence for Wilkinson and his attorney will argue for 20 years.

The state will oppose any move to grant probation. Wilkerson's mother Willa Blanc pleaded guilty to murder to avoid a possible death sentence and is serving to life without parole.

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