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Last updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012
(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Andrea McCord upheld the original sentence of 65 years in prison for Larry Michael Caraway for murdering his wife Denise.
The Indiana Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling reversed the original sentence because McCord didn't take into Caraway's guilty plea as a mitigating circumstance.
She did Monday.
"But I am giving little weight to the guilty plea," McCord stated Monday morning.
She also said there was a long list of aggravating circumstances and it took a long period of time for Caraway to admit his guilt.
Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Woodward said Monday that Caraway lied to police.
Initially, Caraway told police he and his wife were arguing about bills when she retrieved a gun and shot herself.
He later admitted he had fabricated that story.
"Finally he did acknowledge the wounds were not self inflected," Woodward said Monday. "I ask that you (McCord) take into account the long drawn out process it took to get him to accept the plea agreement and admit his guilt."
After numerous continuances, Caraway, who is 50, finally appeared before Judge William Sleva in March 2011 and admitted to killing Denise in their Washington Avenue home on October 7, 2009.
She was shot in the head, chest and lower abdomen, according to Lawrence County
Coroner John Sherrill. The gunshot wounds were from a .22-caliber revolver recovered at the scene.
Denise (Hudson) Caraway, 48, was a teacher at Head Start.
Woodward also asked McCord to take into account that the state agreed to drop a D Felony which took off 3 years of Caraway's sentence.
However, Lawrence County Public Defender Lorinda Youngcourt argued Monday that the 2 to 3 years off Caraway's sentence from dropping the D felony was not a substantial benefit.
She also stressed that Caraway did admit to the guilt and that should account for something.
During the original sentencing Youngcourt argued Caraway's criminal past didn't include violent crimes and that his alcoholism is a disease and shouldn't be considered an aggravating circumstance. She also argued there was no evidence of previous domestic abuse.
"Every defendant is in a catch 22," she said Monday "It doesn't matter what he says. He told everyone exactly what happened. I am sorry alcohol was a crutch in this case, but it was what was going on at the time. Mr. Carraway never said he was not guilty. He has shared with everyone who would listen, how sorry he is and how he misses her."
Youngcourt also stated the plea agreement saved the county time and the family unnecessary grief.
"They would have had to see photos and hear details of this very emotional crime," she said.
Caraway, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and wearing handcuffs sat emotionless when McCord made her decision. Several members of Denise's family were present for the re-sentencing and were pleased McCord upheld her ruling.
After the sentencing Carraway was escorted from the court and returned to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
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