Bascue sentenced to life in murder of James Croft

By Chris Swick
July 06, 2015

One of the defendants accused in the November 2014 murder of James Croft near Galva will spend at least 25 years in prison.

Clinton Bascue, 32, was sentenced to life in prison Monday afternoon in by McPherson County Ninth District Court Judge Richard B. Walker. Bascue could be eligible for parole after 25 years, though he will face strict limitations should he be released.

Walker mandated that Bascue have lifetime supervision if paroled. He will also have to register as a violent offender in the state's database.

As part of the ruling, Bascue will also have to pay restitution to Darlene Lawrence, Croft's common-law wife, and the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board, who footed the cost for Croft's funeral. Total compensation was just over $710. No further fines or court costs were levied.

Bascue didn't speak in court Monday, though he did submit a letter for the victim's family. On his behalf, defense attorney David Harger did note that, at the time of the murder, Bascue was on methamphetamine, thus offering some explanation, though not an excuse, as to his actions.

“It's amazing how sobriety changes a person,” Harger said in a statement to the court. “His own mother said he looks like a completely different person.”

Lawrence did speak, saying she hated what had happened, and that it had ruined the lives of not only Croft's loved ones, but Bascue's as well.

“All lives should have value of more than $3,200 and a laptop computer,” Lawrence said.

Croft was found in a ditch in rural McPherson County in November 2014, where he perished as a result of multiple stab wounds.