District attorney Dan Hostenpiller and defense attorney Harvey Steinberg are working out a plea deal in which Billy Kissner would plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a sentencing cap of eight years.
Kissner, 48, has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of his wife, Raelynn, in November 2010.
She was found unconscious in the hot tub at the couple's home, but the autopsy revealed she had not drowned. Instead, the pathologist detailed a swollen eye, contusions on her face and brain, and bruising on her face and arms.
Kissner was not formally charged until last spring, when family members provided law enforcement with handwritten notes that Kissner had addressed to family members. Those notes allegedly contained confessions to the crime including, "I just used her to get what I wanted and when she was getting to where she needed me I killed her. It's that simple."
Those family members, as well as investigating officers, were prepared to testify at a preliminary hearing last week, but just moments after Judge Sandra Miller opened the hearing in county court, Steinberg asked that it be waived and the case be bound over to district court. After Hotsenpiller explained he will be involved in trials for the next nine weeks, the date of Feb. 11 was agreed upon by both sides.
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Kissner has been free on a $100,000 bond since shortly after his arrest.