ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota judge called a man who killed and cut up his wife more than 18 years ago a "terrible person" on Friday, then sentenced him to more than 13 years in prison, saying he deserved more time behind bars than called for in the man's plea agreement with prosecutors.
Ramsey County District Judge Salvador Rosas told Norman Bachman Jr. at his sentencing Friday that he wouldn't have agreed to the plea deal Bachman received and that he deserved a longer sentence. But he acknowledged that prosecutors and the family of Toni Bachman agreed to it.
"You're a terrible person. ... You deserve more (time) than what I'm going to give you here today," the judge said.
Rosas told the 53-year-old Anoka man he could reduce his sentence to 10 years if he helps authorities find his wife's remains. While Bachman has helped in several searches since he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October, her body remains missing.
Toni Bachman was 38 when she disappeared from her White Bear Township home in 1997. Investigators always presumed she had been killed, but the case went cold due to a lack of evidence. Norman Bachman was finally arrested in April and confessed in October.
Bachman said he and his wife had argued and that she was planning to leave him after she become romantically involved online with a man from West Virginia. He claimed she hit him, so he grabbed her around the neck and strangled her. He said he kept her body in their basement for a couple days, then chopped her up and put the body parts in three garbage bags. A few days later, he said, he drove to a rural area about two hours from a home that he knew from his childhood, dug three holes and buried her parts.
Rosas asked Bachman if he had anything to say before being sentenced.
"It's been a hard time for me — hiding for so many years, carrying this around with me. This secret," Bachman replied.