Man pleads guilty in Aspen socialite killing, gets 20 years

Nancy Pfister

CBS Denver

ASPEN, Colo. - A former Denver anesthesiologist has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of a prominent Aspen woman and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

CBS Denver reports 66-year-old William F. Styler entered his plea Friday after accepting a deal with prosecutors.

According to the station, Styler said that he went to the 57-year-old Nancy Pfister's home on Feb. 24 and attacked her with a hammer while she slept. He then wrapped her body and stuffed it in a closet, where she was found by police two days later.

Family members of the victim urged the judge Friday to impose a 32-year sentence, the maximum possible sentence under the plea deal, but prosecutors pointed out Styler's old age and declining health, saying 20 years likely means he'll be in prison until he dies.


Styler, his wife and Pfister's personal assistant had all been charged with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against 62-year-old Nancy Styler and Pfister's assistant, 56-year-old Katherine Carpenter.

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

According to the station, Caloia did indicate that there could be further investigations into Carpenter.

Attorneys for both Nancy Styler and Katherine Carpenter have stressed that their clients are 100 percent innocent.

Nancy Pfister's parents co-founded the Buttermilk ski area. Pfister had been renting her home to the Stylers while she was vacationing in Australia. She was killed shortly after she returned.

Juliana Pfister, the victim's daughter, said Friday that her family can now move on and try to get closure.