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PUBLIC RECORD
April 4, 2020

2/24/2020 1:27:00 PM
Man who killed wife wants sentence reduced
James Sowder sits in the JC courtroom as his attorney Mark Dove prepares to give his opening argument at his trial May 12, 2014.—PD&S File Photo by Barb King
+ click to enlarge
James Sowder sits in the JC courtroom as his attorney Mark Dove prepares to give his opening argument at his trial May 12, 2014.—PD&S File Photo by Barb King
James D. Sowder has filed a petition for post conviction relief eight years after he shot and killed his ex-wife, Candice A. Sowder, 64, as she sat on her porch at Country Squire Lakes, and then shot the woman's daughter, Gina Johnson, who survived.

A jury of his peers convicted this Seymour resident after a five-day trial in May 2014 of voluntary manslaughter, a Class A felony; criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, a D felony; burglary resulting in bodily or serious bodily injury, an A felony; intimidation, a D felony; and criminal trespass and carrying a handgun without a license, an A misdemeanors.

There was never any question that Sowder killed his ex-wife as there were five witnesses to the crime.

Judge Jon Webster sentenced Sowder to a total of 70 years in prison, none suspended, with credit for 710 actual days for time spent in jail since being arrested the day of the shooting, July 29, 2012.

Sowder is asking his sentence be shortened and argues several points based on ineffective assistance of counsel, which is a commonly used argument in such petitions. If his attorney had, in his view, done a better job, he would have received a lesser sentence or one that would have run concurrently, not consecutively as is now the case.

Because he makes only $20 in his prison job, Sowder has asked for a public defender to handle his post conviction relief petition.

Now, Amy Karozos, Public Defender of Indiana, has informed Judge Webster that her current caseload is such that she "cannot currently investigate Peti­tioner's claims and pursue his post-conviction remedies."

She is asking the court to put the case on hold until she is "ready to proceed."



Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Article comment by: Ed Hensley

Sorry, but you did the crime you do the time!



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