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Court affirms man’s sentence for murdering wife

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A Lawrence County man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife in 2009 should be reduced to the advisory sentence of 55 years.

Larry Michael Caraway shot his wife Denise seven times in the stomach, head and arm after arguing over an unpaid utility bill. The day he shot his wife, Caraway drank very heavily, consuming more than 20 beers, and he also took four Valium pills. He was charged with murder and Class D felony altering the scene of death for trying to make it look like Denise Caraway shot herself. He agreed to plead guilty in 2010, and the trial court sentenced him to the maximum 65 years. Lawrence Circuit Judge Andrea K. McCord found Caraway’s intoxicated state and that he was in a position of trust outweighed the mitigators.

Caraway appealed and the Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to consider Caraway’s guilty plea as a mitigating factor. On remand, McCord resentenced Caraway to 65 years, finding he received some benefit from the plea, delayed entering his guilty plea, and that his decision to plead guilty was “merely a pragmatic one.” She again found Caraway’s state at the time of the shooting and his position of trust outweigh that he pleaded guilty and other mitigators.

On Wednesday, the appellate judges affirmed the sentence in Larry Michael Caraway v. State of Indiana, 47A04-1205-CR-265, finding Caraway’s character and the nature of the offense don’t justify reducing the sentence. He’s had a long history of drinking and offenses dating back to 1980 but apparently never sought treatment. The judges also agreed with McCord’s reasoning as to the amount of weight she gave Caraway’s guilty plea.

 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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