Bid to shorten sentence for 1989 slayings rejected

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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors have rejected an effort by a woman seeking to effectively cut in half her 100-year prison sentence on two counts of murder from a 1989 attack in Muncie.

Suzanne Rainey asked a Delaware County judge to modify her sentence, saying she regretted her crime and is suffering from cirrhosis, The Star Press reported (http://tspne.ws/1fTXQ9B ).

Rainey and Samuel Redwine were convicted in the stabbing deaths 33-year-old Donald Smith and 23-year-old Alma Conley on New Year’s Day 1989 in an apartment where Smith and Conley lived above a gun shop on the city’s south side.

Rainey maintained that Redwine, her co-defendant, killed the couple after they attacked her when she entered the business to retrieve personal belongings. Redwine died in prison in 1992.

Delaware County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman wrote the judge that prosecutors objected to any reduction of Rainey’s sentence.

Under state law, prosecutors must agree to most sentencing changes sought more than a year after a conviction.

Judge Linda Ralu Wolf formally denied Rainey’s request on Friday, noting that her court “lacks the authority to modify (a) sentence without the consent of the state.”

Similar requests from Rainey have also been denied at least three other times since 2008.

Rainey was given a 50-year sentence in 1989 for each murder conviction, with the judge ruling at the time that the prison terms would be served consecutively. Rainey had asked that her sentences be changed to run concurrently. With credit time for good behavior, that would have made her eligible for release by early 2015.

In a letter to Wolf, Rainey wrote she hoped to “spend the rest of my life giving back to the community and helping others to learn the ramifications of such serious acts of crime.”

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Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com

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