Man gets life in prison for killing Bismarck police officer

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The man charged with shooting and killing a Bismarck police officer has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Judge David Reich sentenced Steven Bannister to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday afternoon for the July 2011 death of Bismarck Police Sgt. Steve Kenner.

Bannister entered an Alford plea last month in the case.

An Alford plea means a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him. The plea is treated as a conviction for sentencing purposes.

Authorities say Bannister shot and killed Kenner when the officer responded to a domestic disturbance call. Kenner was the first Bismarck police officer killed in the line of duty.