News and Tribune

Clark County

March 7, 2013

7:15 P.M. UPDATE: Accused rapist, murderer holds bizarre press conference

Richard Hooten says he doesn’t know why he murdered Clarksville teenager



During Thursday’s interview, Hooten tried to recount his actions.

“I didn’t really plan it,” he said. “I went in to her apartment. She was a pretty girl, you know. I didn’t know that she was 17. I thought she was like 19 or 20, you know.”

A reporter attending the press conference asked if it would have made any difference if he had known Willenborg was minor.

“Not really,” Hooten answered. “Maybe a little bit because she was a minor, you know. Seventeen years old is a minor to me.”



Hooten said he has committed four or five rapes in his life, the first taking place when he was in his 20s. Hooten said that he had never before raped a person younger than him.

When asked why he commits such terrible crimes, Hooten responded by only shaking his head back and forth. He said he had been to prison three times following rape convictions.

Hooten said during the interview he had raped a woman as recently as around the first of the year. He said he had only met the woman once, and the assault took place behind a bar on Third Street in Louisville. He said the woman was about 50 years old, and he couldn’t remember her name.

Hooten said he felt “pretty bad” that he killed Willenborg, and said the rape had unintentionally escalated to her death.

He said after he realized she had died, he tried to revive her by performing CPR. He then tried to stage the scene to make it appear Willenborg committed suicide.

Hooten said he didn’t call for authorities so Willenborg’s life could have possibly been saved because, “I was scared because I did that crime.”

He said that he thinks he should remain in jail and knows he needs help.

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