Truck stop killer gets mandatory sentence

Friday, June 18, 2010 at 12:08pm

Bruce Mendenhall will serve his mandatory life sentence on a first-degree murder conviction only after a previous 30-year sentence is exhausted.

Judge Steve Dozier made the ruling Friday at a sentencing hearing for Mendenhall’s conviction last month for the June 2007 murder of Sara Nicole Hulbert.

Dozier said allowing Mendenhall, 59, to serve the sentences concurrently would have reduced the significance of the convictions, according to a spokeswoman from the District Attorney’s office.

Mendenhall was convicted of shooting Hulbert and displaying her body at a north Nashville truck stop.

In late February, he was sentenced to serve three consecutive 10-year sentences following his January conviction on three counts of solicitation of murder for arranging to have witnesses in his murder case killed.

Mendenhall has been formally charged in three other jurisdictions — Indianapolis, Ind., Birmingham, Ala., and Lebanon, Tenn.

He was scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Lebanon next week, but a prosecutor in Indianapolis said she would ask Tennessee authorities for the chance to try Mendenhall next, as she believed her case against him was the next strongest.