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MADISON, Wis. -The former Lutheran bishop charged in a deadly hit-and-run drunken-driving crash is in Dane County Court to be sentenced on Thursday.
Bruce Burnside, 60, pleaded guilty to two of the charges against him in May, including felony second-degree reckless homicide. He was originally charged with four felonies, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
Prosecutors said Burnside hit and killed Maureen Mengelt from Sun Prairie while she was out for an afternoon jog in April 2012. Prosecutors asked for an eight-year prison sentence for Burnside.
But Maureen Mengelt's husband, Kevin Mengelt, told News 3 he had hoped the case would go to trial after a year of proceedings, or that the plea deal would have been to a charge of homicide by hit-and-run.
During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Mengelt's son, Andrew, broke down on the stand talking about the things his mother wasn't able to be there for, like his graduation.
"She was a remarkable person," he said. "The best way to describe her is just one of those people who is just special."
Mengelt's other daughter, Megan, said her mother was her best friend. She said that she was training with her mom when she was killed and now feels like she can no longer run.
"Why would a supposed man of the cloth commit such a horrible act, and even worse, deny every bit of it? But I won't accept it. He's had one and a half years to do just that. He's not a true man and not a true man of God."
Mengelt's husband, Kevin, said Maureen was the center of his family’s household. "I've spent a year making up for her loss, and I feel I've always come up short," he said.
The court is expected to hear from attorneys and Burnside after a noon break.
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