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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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