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S. Indiana man pleads guilty in rape, murder of 17-year-old girl


JEFFERSONVILLE, Indiana — A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to the rape and killing of a 17-year-old southern Indiana girl.

Forty-nine-year-old Richard Carley Hooten of Clarksville pleaded guilty Thursday to rape, murder and other charges stemming from the March 2013 slaying of Tara Rose Willenborg.

Hooten had previously confessed during a news conference to killing Willenborg in the Clarksville apartment where she had lived with her boyfriend.

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Hooten if the case went to trial. But with his guilty plea, Hooten will receive life in prison without parole for the murder charge, a 50-year sentence on charges of rape and being a habitual offender, and 20 years for a criminal deviate conduct charge.

Hooten is scheduled to be formally sentenced next month.

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