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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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