Husband sentenced in bludgeoning death of online model wife

Published 12:28 pm Monday, February 8, 2021

Nearly three years after being arrested for the death of his wife, the husband of an online adult model was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Monday, Feb. 8.

The sentence was handed down by Shelby County Judge William Bostick more than two months after Jeff West was convicted of manslaughter by a 12-person jury on Nov. 20, 2020.

According to the jury’s verdict, Kathleen West was killed on Jan. 13, 2018, after her husband used a bottle of Lucid Absinthe to hit her over the head.

Her body was found face down and half nude on the edge of the wearing only a bra. There was a blood stain in the grass behind her feet and a large pool of blood to the right of her body in the street with a trail of blood to the body.

She was found with blood covering the left side of her head from the blow, with the pool of blood to the right of her head and the bottle of Absinthe propped on its side against her phone to the right of the pool of blood.

During the sentencing hearing, Kat West’s mother, Jeff West’s mother and Kat and Jeff’s daughter all pleaded for leniency with with the court, coming to Jeff’s defense.

Bostick took that into account, but told Jeff those statements and his 21 years of military service can only go so far in his decision.

“Our laws are to not punish for who you are, but what you have done,” Bostick said. “I don’t think you woke up that morning and decided to kill your wife, but your actions led to it.”

Bostick said the death of Kat was foreseeable and made it clear that her death wasn’t her fault.

When Jeff West addressed Bostick in a prepared statement, he talked about all he had missed the previous three years in jail, including birthdays, graduations and being there for his parents with his dad battling cancer. He, however, did not mention his wife’s name.

Jeff was arrested on the morning of Feb. 22, 2018, more than a month after his wife’s death on Jan. 13, 2018. He will receive credit for time served since his arrest, which puts him close to 13 years left to serve in prison.

The max sentence he could have received for manslaughter was 20 years, while the minimum would have been two years.

During the sentencing hearing, the state called Mike Mehlhoff back to the stand to look through photos of the crime scene, personnel files of Jeff West and a video recording of Jeff West saying that he didn’t like his wife’s drinking but that he considered that a normal argument between the two.

Defense attorney John Robbins focused more on character witnesses, including Nancy Martin (Kat’s mother), Sue West (Jeff’s mother) and Kat and Jeff’s daughter.

All of them talked about how kind Jeff was and how good of a person he was, and pleaded for the judge to allow him to come home.

The daughter asked for Bostick to give her father back to her as soon as possible, before also adding that they had a loving household when asked by Robbins.