Convicted Murderer To Be Sentenced

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When Kevan Deon Kuhlman pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Susan Birchak in November, it was expected he would be sentenced before the end of the year.

The sentencing is now scheduled for Friday, Jan. 31, according to a spokesperson in the Gila County Attorney's office in Globe.

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Susan Birchak

Earlier, County Attorney Daisy Flores said, "Typically, sentencing is four to six weeks (after a plea is entered)."

However, she said, because Kuhlman was looking at a 16- to 22-year prison term, the judge might allow an extension in order for defense attorneys "to prepare mitigation information."

Kuhlman, 37, was arrested Oct. 9, 2001 by the Payson Police Department for the murder of Birchak, his 52-year-old girlfriend.

Police and fire were called to the residence the two shared in the 1500 block of North Easy Street, following a 9-1-1 call from Kuhlman reporting Birchak was not breathing.

An autopsy revealed that Birchak had died of strangulation.

A week after Birchak's death, Kuhlman was indicted on one count of first-degree murder by a Gila County grand jury.

Kuhlman pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree murder in mid-November, 2002.

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