Woman sentenced to life for husband's murder

John Richmeier/Leavenworth Times
Alexandra Gilson

A woman has been sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of her husband last year in Leavenworth.

Alexandra Gilson will have to serve at least 25 years of the life the sentence before she is eligible for parole. She was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court.

Gilson pleaded guilty in August to first-degree murder.

She was charged after her husband, Joshua, was found dead Oct. 30, 2020, at his home in Leavenworth. He had been stabbed more than 25 times.

When sentencing Gilson on Friday, District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said the murder was one of the most brutal he has seen in the years he has practiced law.

"This is a horrible tragedy, a tragedy that didn't need to happen," he said.

Kuckelman said Gilson's actions made no sense "because you gain nothing by it."

He said there were other ways Gilson could have separated herself from her husband.

Several family members of the victim spoke during Friday's sentencing hearing.

"Losing a child is a heartache that will never go away," said Judy Gilson, the victim's mother.

Danny Gilson Sr., the victim's father, said Alexandra Gilson had taken his son's life "knowingly and willingly."

"I just want her punished and held accountable," he said. "That's all we're asking for."

Deputy County Attorney Shawn Boyd noted Friday that a charge of first-degree premeditated murder had been amended in the case to what is known as felony murder. This change resulted from a plea agreement.

Felony murder occurs when someone dies during the commission of a felony that is considered inherently dangerous. In this case, the inherently dangerous felony was aggravated endangering a child.

Three children were at the home where the stabbing took place.

Felony murder is a form of first-degree murder.

Boyd said the standard sentence for felony murder is still a life sentence.

The prosecutor said Alexandra Gilson had taken responsibility for the crime and prevented the case from having to go to trial. Boyd said Alexandra Gilson is cooperating in the case of a co-defendant, Jeffery M. Samulczyk.

When given the opportunity to speak Friday, Alexandra Gilson indicated she did not wish to say anything.

Her attorney, Gregory Robinson, said there has never been an issue of his client accepting responsibility in the case.

He said there is no guarantee his client will be paroled after 25 years.

"It's a life sentence," Robinson said.

Kuckelman said Alexandra Gilson will receive credit for the 336 days she was in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail prior to her sentencing.

"Even with Ms. Gilson getting life, it does not substitute the havoc she caused by this murder," County Attorney Todd Thompson said in a news release. "His family will never be the same, and her children have now lost their parents. Our thoughts and prayers go to Joshua Gilson’s family and friends."

Samulczyk, the co-defendant, faces charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and interference with law enforcement in connection to Joshua Gilson's death.

His case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 10.

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