GOSHEN -- The Indiana Supreme Court decided Wednesday that Spenser Krempetz's life sentence will stand for his role in the murder and robbery of Barbara Jo Keim of Middlebury.
Krempetz pleaded guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit murder and armed criminal confinement for his role in the Aug. 4, 2005, attack that killed Keim.
Keim's daughter, Hannah Stone, was dating Krempetz at the time. The two of them enlisted the aid of Aaron McDonald in a plan to rob and kill Keim because she didn't approve of Stone's relationship with Krempetz.
They attacked, bound and robbed Keim and eventually Krempetz shot her in a cornfield in Kosciusko County.
Elkhart Circuit Judge Terry Shewmaker sentenced Krempetz to life in prison without possibility of parole, and Krempetz appealed, saying he didn't deserve such a harsh penalty.
Justice Robert Rucker, who wrote the unanimous opinion, wrote, "According to Krempetz, he 'was a young man who was trying to do his girlfriend's bidding ... He was trying to make himself useful, and probably trying to impress her that he could be counted on to do the tough things that she didn't want to do.'"
Rucker continued, "Although these factors may have some bearing on Krempetz's character by showing that he is easily manipulated and unable to resist the entreaties of others, it is not readily apparent what bearing they have on the nature of the offense.
"As we see it, this was a carefully planned, brutal, execution style killing that was committed against a defenseless victim whose only transgression was disapproval of her daughter's acquaintances."
Stone got a 100-year sentence as part of her plea agreement, and McDonald got 62 years.
Contact Justin Leighty at email@example.com.