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March 21, 2013

State to seek death penalty against Richard Hooten

JEFFERSONVILLE —  

The state of Indiana will seek the death penalty against Richard Carley Hooten, Jr., for the March 2 rape and murder of a Clarksville teenager.

Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull entered the state’s request to seek the death penalty during a hearing in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Wednesday afternoon. 

Hooten, who faces multiple charges related to the death of 17-year-old Tara Willenborg, was present in court without counsel. 

Hooten admitted to local media earlier this month, and also reportedly admitted to police at the time of his arrest, that he raped and murdered Willenborg in the Clarksville apartment where she lived with her boyfriend.

Hooten has been charged with murder, Class B felony rape, class B felony criminal deviate conduct and being a habitual offender. 

Hooten has served time in Kentucky on three separate occasions, twice for assault and once for escape. He also served 15 years in the Georgia Department of Correction after being convicted of rape, aggravated sodomy and aggravated assault; and also has a previous conviction in Clark County for sexual battery and residential entry.

Check for updates to this story at newsandtribune.com and in Friday’s edition of the News and Tribune.

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