10 to Life for Woman in Professional Poker Player Slaying

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Poker Slaying

A woman has been sentenced to 10 years to life in prison for stabbing her husband-a professional poker player-to death in a Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, condominium last year.

According to media reports, Jill Rockcastle, 50, was sentenced Tuesday by Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani.

Rockcastle pleaded no contest on September 16, 2008, to second-degree murder in the slaying of her husband, William Gustafik, 44, a former chiropractor who became a Vegas poker pro, the reports said.

Her plea avoided trial and acknowledged that prosecutors could prove the case against her, the reports said.

Rockcastle's public defense lawyer, Joseph Abood, cast his client as a battered wife who grabbed a knife and stabbed Gustafik 15 times after he grabbed her by the hair, the reports said.

Prosecutor Sam Bateman, however, said there was no evidence Gustafik was violent toward Rockcastle, the reports said.

Police found Gustafik's body on April 13, 2007, after being directed to a blood-spattered bedroom in a 23rd-floor condo at the Panorama Towers on the Las Vegas Strip.

Rockcastle was arrested several days later, after she was found unconscious at a motel in San Luis Obispo, California, USA, from a drug overdose.

According to tournament records, Gustafik won a total of $165,597 in his career playing in poker tourneys in Vegas and California.

His biggest payday-$80,000-came when he finished tenth in a World Poker Tour event in San Jose, California, USA, in 2006.

His biggest claim to fame, however, was finishing in 280th place at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas in 2006, earning $38,759.

Thomas Somach, www.pokerhelper.com

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