Terry Bratcher Gets Life in Prison; Killed Gun Activist, Stole Guns

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

An Illinois man was sentenced to life in prison for killing a prominent retired attorney who was also a gun activist, during a robbery to steal his gun collection.

The Courier-News reports that 82-year-old Carl Kuhn invited Terry Bratcher into his home that fateful night in 2009 because he knew him well -- Kuhn represented Bratcher several times, even loaned him money and got him a job. Bratcher returned those multiple favors by killing Kuhn.

Bratcher and another man smothered Kuhn, who was a former official with the Illinois State Rifle Association, by forcing his face into a couch cushion. Then they stole 46 weapons, hoping to sell them and use the money to buy drugs.

Bratcher was convicted in September of the murder and Monday he faced sentencing, including hearing from Kuhn's family.

“Terry Bratcher is a cold-blooded, heartless killer. We ask and pray that the court shows him the same amount of respect that he has shown my grandpa,” said Carl Kuhn’s granddaughter, Holly.

The judge did not disappoint, tossing the 45-year-old Bratcher in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

“He literally led an elderly man upstairs to his death,” Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said. She also said the relationship between Kuhn and Bratcher as well as the cold-blooded nature of the crime led her to impose the maximum.

His accomplice Keith Allen previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 years behind bars.