News and Tribune

December 18, 2012

New Albany man sentenced in murder of girlfriend, child’s mother

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — A New Albany man was sentenced to 50 years in prison during a hearing in a Floyd County court Tuesday.

Ivan E. Chambers, 27, was previously convicted of murdering the mother of his child and on-again, off-again girlfriend, Amanda “Mandy” Rose McAnelly on July 20.

Chambers signed a plea agreement in October convicting him of fatally shooting McAnelly, 23, twice in her head while the couple was in their Plaza Square apartment in New Albany.

Their daughter was also in the home during the shooting, Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steven Owen said.

Owen, who acted as prosecutor during the case’s proceedings, said the daughter is about 4 years old.

Before Chambers was sentenced by presiding Floyd County Circuit Court Judge Terrence Cody, he was permitted to address the court, which included McAnelly’s family members.

From a folded piece of yellow paper torn from a legal pad, Chambers read his sympathies to the family.

“I don’t know how to start,” Chambers said, fumbling with the sheet of paper with hands shackled by wrists restraints.

“I can say I am sorry until I am blue in the face ... I was not in the right mind when this occurred. I was heavily depressed,” Chambers said. “... I would never intentionally kill the woman I loved.”

Chambers said he will never forget McAnelly, and that if he could take back his actions, he would.

Following the sentencing, Chambers’ attorney Robert Colone, of Sellersburg, commended his client for the statements he made during the hearing.

“I think he did a very good job articulating his thoughts and what transpired,” Colone said. “I think he did the right thing.”

He said Chambers decided almost immediately after the shooting that he would hold himself accountable for killing McAnelly.

“It is a tragic event,” Colone said. “Thankfully, my client recognized relatively quickly that the right thing to do was to plea — to accept responsibility for his actions.”

He said it is rare for a suspect to be so willing to accept prosecution with such little contestation.

“Almost right out of the box, he acknowledged that this is what he wanted to do,” Colone said. “That he knew that he had done wrong, and, really, the only way he could possibly rectify what he had done wrong was to accept responsibility.”

After the hearing, Owen said he was pleased with the resolution and that the sentence was fair and equitable for a first-time offender who committed the crime with very limited aggravating factors.

“I think [Chambers and McAnelly] had had some real problems,” Owen said. “She was in the process of leaving him, and he decided violence was the way to resolve this situation. It’s just a sad, sad situation.”

Owen said one of the benefits of reaching a plea agreement, and ruling out the possibility of a trial, is that couple’s daughter, who was one of the prosecution’s witnesses, will not be called to testify.

“I think that is a good resolution that that little girl does not have to not only go through the pain of the loss of a parent — but also having to testify in court would have been very painful and traumatic,” Owen said.

He added that to his understanding, the girl is progressing about as well as one can expect.

Chambers is expected to serve nearly 25 years, half of the sentenced term, in the Indiana Department of Correction, before his release.