Man gets life in prison in ‘Pecan Queen’s’ death

Bruce Wayne Harkey
Bruce Wayne Harkey

BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A man on trial for hiring a family member to kill his own stepmother has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Burnet County jury found Bruce Harkey guilty of capital murder. The conviction carries an automatic life sentence since the prosecution did not seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors said Harkey hired his stepmother’s grandson and that man’s girlfriend to kill Bonnie Harkey. The elderly woman owned a pecan farm in San Saba County.

Carl Pressley, a Harkey relative, pleaded guilty to capital murder last year for his role in the murders.

Investigators found Bonnie Harkey’s caretaker dead at her home before finding her body in a shallow grave nearly 200 miles away.

The grandson and girlfriend accused in the murders have not yet gone to trial. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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