Double murder-robbery convict avoids life sentence

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A 24-year-old Evansville man convicted of two counts each of murder and robbery for killing two people has avoided a life sentence but still could spend his remaining years in prison.

The Journal & Courier reports Tippecanoe Superior Judge Randy Williams ruled Friday a life sentence for Deshay Hackner would contradict the penal system’s goals of rehabilitation. Williams scheduled a June 14 sentencing hearing.

Hackner faces a sentencing range of 51-202 years.

The trial was moved to Tippecanoe County because of pre-trial publicity. The jury convicted him Wednesday of the 2017 slayings of 29-year-old Dewone Broomfield and 28-year-old Mary Woodruff inside the Evansville couple’s home, but deadlocked on whether to recommend a life sentence without parole.

Co-defendant William Rice II is awaiting trial on murder and robbery charges.

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