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McClung gets 11 years in plastic wrap body case

Tony McClung

The man who recently pleaded no contest to the death of a Shingle Springs woman was sentenced to the maximum prison term Monday afternoon.

Tony Harvey McClung, 39, was initially charged with the 2006 first-degree murder of Pamela Kantz, 55, but pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter on Oct. 14. On Monday McClung was sentenced to 11 years in prison by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud.

Kantz’s decomposing body was discovered in a plastic bag by authorities on Sept. 2, 2006 in the Shingle Springs home she shared with McClung. McClung and another male were found at the scene, but it was McClung who was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He reportedly told authorities that Kantz had choked on a hamburger in the shower. Experts believe Kantz had been dead for nearly one week before her body was found.

Half of the courtroom was occupied by Kantz’s family and friends. David Kantz, the victim’s husband, was given the opportunity to address the court before McClung was taken into custody.

David Kantz urged the court to reconsider the plea agreement, saying there was additional evidence that pointed to a more serious crime than voluntary manslaughter.

“We sincerely hope there will be no more victims of Tony McClung, but if there are, we will look shamefully back” at the plea deal, he said.

In his address, David Kantz said his wife, suffering from diminished mental health, was “skillfully exploited” by McClung. Pamela Kantz, he said, thought McClung was a “gift from God.”

But McClung kept Pamela Kantz from seeing her family and used her trust to take thousands of dollars from her bank account, according to David Kantz.

The victim’s husband also speculated that McClung used a weapon to kill Pamela Kantz and believed she was in “indescribable pain” during her death.

Deputy district attorney Worth Dikeman, though, told the court prosecutors found no evidence that McClung intended to kill Kantz and that the victim appeared to stay with McClung by choice.

McClung, according to Dikeman, knew Pamela Kantz was hurt but tried unsuccessfully to treat her.

“He had no motive at all to kill her,” said Dikeman. “She was, for all intents and purposes, the goose that laid the golden egg.”

Dikeman said condition of the victim’s body made the cause of death indeterminable. He acknowledged that she was likely a victim of domestic violence, but said her injuries were non-life threatening and noted that she visited several doctors during her relationship with McClung but did not appear to desire any outside help.

According to the deputy district attorney, McClung’s mental faculties in 2006 “were not at the level they are today.” During interviews with law enforcement, Dikeman said McClung discussed “evil spirits” that inhabited the house he shared with the victim.

The 11-year sentence “punishes (McClung) for what he did, not what people might think he’s done,” said Dikeman.

Judge Proud expressed his sympathy for the victim’s family but ultimately sided with Dikeman’s explanation, saying prosecutors can only deal with the facts they have before them.

Per his plea agreement, McClung is ineligible for probation. He already has 1,742 credited days of time served.

jratajczak@mtdemocrat.net

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Posted by on Oct 28 2010.
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