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Pratt man sentenced to 8 ½ years for attempted murder of a law enforcement officer

Release Date: Feb 24, 2017

PRATT – (February 24, 2017) – A Pratt man was sentenced today to 8 ½ years in prison for the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Bradley Grant Verstraete, 46, was sentenced to 102 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections by District Judge Francis E. Meisenheimer in Pratt County District Court. Verstraete was convicted by a Pratt County jury in September 2016 of attempted murder in the second degree of Pratt Police Officer Kenneth Wright. Verstraete was also convicted of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer concerning Pratt Police Sergeant James Ferbert. The crimes were committed in January 2015.

The case spurred Attorney General Schmidt to seek a legislative change making all crimes committed against a law enforcement officer subject to an enhanced sentence, because such enhancement was not available for the charge of attempted second-degree murder. That legislation, House Bill 2049, known as the Law Enforcement Protection Act, is pending in the Kansas Legislature.

Deputy Attorney General Victor Braden and Assistant Attorney General Steve Wilhoft from Schmidt’s office prosecuted the case against Verstraete. The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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