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Man Tells Judge He Killed Aspen Socialite Nancy Pfister With Hammer

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ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A former tenant of murdered Aspen socialite Nancy Pfister said in court on Friday that he killed her in her home while she was sleeping.

William F. Styler III, 66, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and received a 20 year prison sentence as part of a plea deal.

William Styler (credit: CBS)

William Styler (credit: CBS)

He said on Feb. 24 he went into the home of Pfister, 57, on West Buttermilk Road and attacked her with a hammer. He then wrapped the body and stuffed it in a closet. Police found the body two days later.

Family members in court had urged the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence for the plea, which was 32 years. But prosecutors pointed out that in Styler’s old age and declining health, 20 years in prison means he’ll almost assuredly be in prison until he dies.

Nancy Pfister (credit: CBS)

Nancy Pfister (credit: CBS)

With his confession, the charges were dropped for the other two suspects in the case — Styler’s wife Nancy and Katherine Carpenter, another Aspen resident.

“With this new evidence, we would not be able to prove the charges against either of the women,” Pitkin County District Attorney Sherry Caloia said.

Nancy Styler was freed earlier this week and Carpenter was released from custody on Friday. Attorneys for both women stressed that they are 100 percent innocent and have been from the start.

Caloia indicated, however, there could be further investigations into Carpenter.

Juliana Pfister, Nancy’s daughter, said her family can now move on and try to get closure from the confession.

Nancy and Juliana Pfister (credit: CBS)

Nancy and Juliana Pfister (credit: CBS)

Pfister’s death was the first homicide in the city in 12 years, and several residents expressed relief to hear that there has been a jail sentence imposed for the killer.

Pfister was well known in the Aspen community and her parents developed Buttermilk ski area.

Before moving to Aspen the Stylers lived in Castle Rock and Greenwood Village. Styler was an anesthesiologist and the couple were known in the Denver metro area for their impressive garden.

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