‘I deserve it’: New Albany double murderer requests, and is given, 240 year maximum prison sentence

Cherok Douglass was sentenced for killing his wife and innocent bystander in April 2022.
Cherok Douglass told the judge he wanted whatever sentence the victims’ families asked for
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 4:25 PM EDT
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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - Cherok Douglass was sentenced to 240 years in prison after being found guilty of two murders and an attempted murder.

In April 2022, Cherok Douglass shot and killed his wife, Brandee Douglass, near a Circle K gas station on Grant Line Road. He also killed an innocent bystander, Lorin Yelle. Shortly thereafter, police chased Douglass to a nearby restaurant where he briefly took the owner, Winnie Wen, hostage.

A year and a half later, a jury found him guilty. With additional charges, Douglass faced up to 240 years in prison. Douglass told the judge Wednesday he wanted whatever sentence the victims’ families asked for, implying the maximum of 240 years.

“I feel like I deserve it,” Douglass said.

Judge Carrie Stiller gave him the maximum, calling his crimes, “the worst of the worst.”

While victims and their families don’t have the authority to recommend a sentence, those in the courtroom Wednesday were pushing for the maximum.

Douglass apologized to those family members, but also indicated he planned to appeal the jury’s verdict. Prosecutors don’t put much weight into anything he said.

“I don’t care what he thinks. I don’t particularly care what he feels. I don’t care what he meant. I think our argument was strong enough that whatever his desire is didn’t matter,” said Floyd County Prosecutor Chris Lane. “The facts, evidence, and law showed me 240 years was righteous and just. I’m thankful we got 240 years.”

Court documents show Douglass was under the influence of heroin and meth the day of his arrest.

“I still don’t remember what happened that night,” Douglass said at one point during his sentencing.

The minimum sentence would have been 130 years, so it’s like Douglass would die in jail either way.

He’s still facing another trial for allegedly beating up another inmate and cutting him with a razor blade. That case will bring Douglass back to court in late October.