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WOMAN SENT TO PRISON FOR KILLING MAN JUDGE REJECTS REQUEST TO CHANGE GUILTY PLEA

A woman who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter but now says she acted in self-defense was sentenced today to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for a fatal beating.

Sandra D. Pierce still claims she hit William McKibben on the head with a hammer two years ago after he refused to pay her for sex.

McKibben was a former New York State prison guard and Buffalo State College instructor. His children are suing the city and county over alleged delays in responding to 911 calls the night of the attack.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang rejected Ms. Pierce's last-minute claims.

Ms. Pierce has been jailed since her arrest hours after the June 8, 1993, beating.

At today's court session, Ms. Pierce, a drug-addicted Buffalo prostitute and state prison inmate since November, yelled out, "I'm not guilty."

The judge said Ms. Pierce would get concurrent time for the manslaughter charge and serve it with the 25-year term she received Nov. 14 for robbing the victim and stealing his car.

After a trial last August, a jury was unable to reach a verdict on a murder count in the case, and Ms. Pierce, 32, faced a second trial until prosecutors offered her the plea deal on the manslaughter charge.

In court today, she tried to get the judge to give her a second trial and a new court-assigned lawyer.

Ms. Pierce insisted she did "not voluntarily" plead guilty last month to manslaughter.

One of her attorneys, Robert N. Convissar, said an appeal will be made on Ms. Pierce's conviction last August and on Justice Wolfgang's refusal to let her withdraw her manslaughter plea.

Prosecutor Evelyn Ann Gaw-ronski said Ms. Pierce last month admitted in court she had hit the ailing McKibben, 55, with a hammer she found in the bathroom of his Breckenridge Street flat after he refused to pay her $50 for the sex they had on June 8, 1993.

Ms. Pierce will be eligible for parole consideration in about seven years, court officials said.

Timothy McKibben, one of the victim's three sons, admitted in court that his father killed his mother in 1969 in Beacon, near Poughkeepsie, while working as a state prison guard.

McKibben, 29, told the judge he and his siblings had reconciled with their father before his murder over the "violent death" he inflicted on their mother.

McKibben told the judge his father "was a different" and less anger-filled man after he served five years in prison. He said his father had worked with prisoners and police in his last years.

Noting that Ms. Pierce is the mother of two young girls, McKibben said he and his siblings know her children are "going through what we went through" with a parent in prison.

Norman B. Viti, an attorney for the McKibben family, said the city and county governments and the Buffalo police are being sued in State Supreme Court for what he called the government's "negligently failing to respond" to repeated 911 calls for help for McKibben.

Viti said Buffalo police took almost 90 minutes to respond to 911 calls from McKibben's neighbors who heard him screaming after Ms. Pierce fled his apartment. An autopsy showed McKibben bled to death before police arrived.

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