|Wed, Sep 17, 2014 07:37 PM
|Issue of September 10, 2014
April 02, 2014 | 09:49 AM
A Corydon man accused of murdering his wife in 2010 entered into a plea agreement Friday in Harrison Superior Court.
Larry Ray Lowe Sr., who resided in the 1400 block of S.R. 335 near Crandall, entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill to an amended count of manslaughter, which is a Class A felony.
Harrison Superior Judge Roger D. Davis ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for Friday, April 25, at 10:30 a.m. The state recommended a 30-year sentence in the agreement, meaning that, with good-time credit and time already served, Lowe would serve about 11 years if Davis accepts the terms of the agreement.
During the hearing, Dr. Martin J. Smith, a licensed clinical psychologist since 1998, testified that he evaluated Lowe in 2011, in June and again in August, and he determined at the time that Lowe was not competent to stand trial, noting that Lowe was not on any type of medication and was both psychotic and delusional.
Lowe was sent to Logansport State Hospital a number of times for treatment of his mental illness. He was prescribed medication and, Smith said, appeared "much sharper than before."
Under questioning by Lowe's attorney, Larry Wilder, Smith said Lowe still had mental illness, but the symptoms Lowe was experiencing before were being adequately controlled with anti-psychotic medication. After being questioned as to whether or not Lowe could relapse, Smith said that, if Lowe discontinued the medication, he could potentially have symptoms return.
Smith had a 90-minute meeting with Lowe, 66, on Friday morning and said Lowe completely understood what he was doing and what he was pleading guilty to.
Harrison County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nicholas Haverstock played a 33-minute recording of an interview between Lowe and Indiana State Police Det. Bill Wibbels. The recording was made the date of the murder, Nov. 8, 2010, and included Wibbels reading Lowe his rights before the questioning began.
In the recording, Lowe said he and wife, Catherine, had a "bad morning" that started with an argument over a computer problem. Lowe said the couple got up at about 8 a.m. and had "got into it" later because a computer wasn't working. Lowe said he retrieved a .38-Special from a safe, went to the basement where Catherine was sitting at the computer and, from about eight to 10 feet away, shot her twice in the back.
"What was all this over? Today?" Wibbels asked during the interview.
"I don't really know," Lowe responded.
"Did she move or say anything after you shot her?" Wibbels asked.
"No," Lowe said, adding that she slid down in the chair after she was shot.
"I had thought about doing this before but never did," Lowe said later. He also said that he had considered killing himself immediately after killing his wife but never did.
Judge Davis asked Lowe if he remembered making the confession, and Lowe said he remembered making some of the statements.
Lowe said later that he didn't specifically remember shooting his wife but knew that he had shot someone in the basement of his home.
Bonita McDonald, sister-in-law of Catherine Lowe, was called to the stand on behalf of her husband, Terry (Catherine's brother), and said that the family was ready to move on from the ordeal.