Woman Sentenced to 28 Years in Pierce 'Biker Gang' Murder

Published on June 09, 2017

Karly Hanchett

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Pierce woman who assisted a self-described biker gang in the brutal murder of Tera Lewandowski was sentenced today to 28 years in the Department of Corrections.

Karly Hanchett, 20, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in December and faced up to 48 years in prison for her role in the killing. Hanchett’s sentencing comes just one week after her husband Michael Vassil pleaded guilty to the crime as well. He will soon be sentenced to 60 years.

Hanchett and four other co-defendants, including her brother Scott, murdered Lewandowski in September 2015 after she “disrespected the gang,” known as 21. They stabbed her several times while she was sleeping, wrapped her body in carpet and dumped her nearly 100 miles away in Wyoming. It took authorities nearly six months to locate her body.

Hanchett testified last month during the trial of former Pierce town board member D.J. Meyer, who was one of the leaders of the gang. Meyer was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. During her testimony, Hanchett admitted that she hit Lewandowski in the head with a metal pipe before other co-defendants stabbed her multiple times.

After dumping the body in Wyoming, the group burned all of her belongings.

“This is the absolute weakest motive for murder that I have ever seen in my time as a prosecutor,” said Assistant District Attorney Robb Miller at today’s sentencing hearing. “This was a needless, senseless, and frankly, brutal murder.

The last of the co-defendants, Thomas Vassil, has yet to plea or go to trial. His next court date is set for
an arraignment later this month.

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