Mendenhall sentenced to 30 years for jailhouse murder plot

| 3/1/2010

Former trucker Bruce Mendenhall was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday for trying to order hits on three witnesses involved in his murder trial.

In January, Mendenhall was found guilty on three counts of solicitation to commit murder, stemming from his attempts to arrange for contract killings of Lori Young and two other acquaintances of his.

Tennessee prosecutors attempted to convict Mendenhall for contracting the slayings of five people since he has been behind bars for more than two years. He tried to order the killings while he was held and charged with the deaths of four women.

The trial for the original murder charges is scheduled for May.

Mendenhall ordered hits on Young, David Powell and Richard Keim, and detectives Pat Postiglione and Mike Freemen, the two main investigators in Mendenhall’s original case.

Lori Young spent four days riding in Mendenhall’s truck in 2002, and later moved to Albion, IL and rented a house from Mendenhall. Powell, a convicted sex offender, and Keim both hung out with Mendenhall. Powell reportedly once dated Mendenhall’s daughter.

Mendenhall has been in jail in Davidson County, TN, since July 2007 after being charged for the deaths of four women: Sara Hulbert, Symantha Winters, Lucille “Gretna” Carter, and Carma Purpora. Police suspect his involvement in at least three other killings.

Young is now married to OOIDA Member Kenneth Young.

She and her husband have mostly stayed under the radar since learning of Mendenhall’s 2007 plot to kill her.

In late January, Young told Land Line she’s looking forward to seeing Mendenhall’s next trial, slated for May.

“My heart goes out to the families of the murder victims,” Young said then. “I’m looking forward to them having peace, and some kind of closure.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer