Man takes plea in rape, murder of 17-year-old - News, Weather & Sports

Man takes plea in rape, murder of 17-year-old

Posted: Updated:
Richard Hooten Richard Hooten
Tara Willenborg Tara Willenborg

By Gary Popp, News and Tribune

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (News and Tribune) — Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart intended on convincing a jury later this year that Richard Carley Hooten Jr. should be sentenced to death.

That trial will not take place, however, as Hooten, 50, accepted plea deal Thursday for the brutal sexual assault, rape, strangulation and death of a 17-year-old Tara Willenborg in her Clarksville apartment in 2012.

While there is no longer a threat he may be killed by lethal injection, Hooten will spend the rest of his life confined in the Indiana Department of Correction.

"The sentence called for by the plea agreement is a life without parole sentence plus 50 years plus 20 years, all consecutive," Stewart said. "While we had originally charged a death sentence, I think we have to understand the hell that the victim's family has been put through."

Read more:

Hooten sidebar


Hooten went by alias, fooled ex-girlfriendHooten confesses to media: 'I did a terrible thing'Death penalty recommended for accused Clark County rapist, murdererTeen laid to rest as disturbing details about