Roger Keene argued that his constitutional rights were violated when a judge, rather than a jury, decided that his 20-year prison term for manslaughter and ten-year term for kidnapping would be served consecutively, rather than concurrently.
The court's 5 to 1 majority disagreed, saying there's no constitutional violation as long as each individual sentence falls within the statutory maximum.
The consecutive sentences were based on Keene's probationary status and the seriousness of his crimes. The lone dissenter, Justice Susan Calkins, said a jury should decide those issues.
The case stems from the fatal beating of Keene's girlfriend, Leslie Stasulis, a mother of five who was found unconscious in the middle of Route 126 in Sabattus and died nine days later.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)