Richard Carley Hooten, a longtime felon and focus of our “Man With Many Chances” investigative series, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Hooten, 50, was sentenced today in Clark County Circuit Court, in Southern Indiana, to a term of life in prison without parole, according to the News and Tribune. Hooten pleaded guilty last month to killing 17-year-old Tara Willenborg in March 2013 in her Clarksville apartment.
Last year, we examined how fundamental failures throughout the criminal justice system allowed a six-time felon and serial rapist to continue his predatory habits with little intervention
Decisions by prosecutors and judges put him back on the street instead of behind bars, and at the time of Willenborg’s rape and murder, Hooten was free on bond in connection with a felony gun case. For months before the killing, Clark County authorities failed to arrest Hooten, a registered sex offender, on outstanding warrants.
His criminal history includes convictions for rape, a stabbing, a prison escape and drug possession.
Our series was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting, among other honors.