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Kast gets 65 years in 2002 slaying

Joseph Kast was sentenced to 65 years in prison Friday for the June 2002 murder of 85-year-old Claude Berkshire.

Last month, an Allen Superior Court jury convicted Kast, 35, of murder. The investigation into Berkshire's murder had gone cold until Kast, in prison for the murder of Huntington County building inspector Earl Bowman, contacted police about the crime.

On June 24, 2002, Berkshire appeared to have been preparing to feed some birds in his garage before heading to morning Mass at a nearby Catholic church, as he did every day, when he was attacked from behind. He bled to death from multiple stab wounds.

Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck ordered the 65-year prison sentence to be served after Kast completes his 55-year sentence for Bowman's murder. He is scheduled to be released on that charge in late January 2030, according to records at the Indiana Department of Correction.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 3 a.m. Saturday.

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