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An Oklahoma man has been handed two life sentences after prosecutors say he brutally murdered a woman and left her body in a dumpster.
Dennis John Kurtz was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree rape with instrumentation for the death of 47-year-old Amy Robertson, according to the Tulsa World. Robertson was beaten, raped, and strangled before her body was discovered in a dumpster behind a restaurant in downtown Tulsa on April 25, 2017.
“That wasn’t something that was done for sexual gratification,” said Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore. “That was something born of just pure, vile evil.”
Investigators with the Tulsa Police Department were able to track Kurtz down based on a rape they solved in 2017, after Robertson’s murder, “in which the suspect had severely beaten the victim,” according to Deputy Chief Dennis Larson. In a 2018 press conference, Larson stated the DNA between the two cases matched and linked Kurtz to other sexual assaults in Wisconsin.
According to the Tulsa World, the latter victim told the Special Victims Unit that her assailant told her, “Usually I kill my victims.”
The victim claimed to say to the suspect, “You never told me you were a… rapist.”
“I’m not,” the suspect allegedly replied, “I’m a murderer.”
At Dennis Kurtz’s trial, six other victims testified, claiming they were subject to beatings, rape, and strangulation. An alleged serial rapist, Kurtz failed to register as a sex offender after he was convicted in Wisconsin for third-degree sexual assault. According to Elmore, Kurtz strangled his pregnant ex-girlfriend until she lost consciousness. When she came to, Kurtz had his fingers inside of her, threatening to remove the unborn baby from her body.
When investigators tied Kurtz to Robertson’s murder, he was serving three concurrent five-year sentences for the rape and forcible sodomy of the other 2017 victim, according to The Tulsa World. He was also convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.
Amy Robertson was a homeless woman, well known to the transient community in downtown Tulsa.
“To do that to another person is sometimes an attempt to rob them of their identity,” Elmore said after sentencing, according to the Tulsa World. “Amy was still a person, and I hope that she will be remembered as such and that this gives some sense of closure to the family, and that they know those jurors saw them, the judge saw them, the detectives and our office saw Amy Robertson as a person because she was.”
Despite the jury finding him guilty, Kurtz maintained he never had contact with Robertson.
“He could not explain how not only his DNA was on her body but was on the instrument of her death,” said Elmore, according to the Tulsa World.
Kurtz will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
“For the jury to level that degree of a sentence, I think, again speaks to their intent to ensure that Dennis Kurtz is never allowed to breathe free air and is not going to be a threat to the public anymore.”
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