INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 22, 2016) – A man who pleaded guilty in a 2014 quadruple murder in Indianapolis received his sentence Friday.
In February, Kenneth “Cody” Rackemann pleaded guilty to murder in the deaths of Walter Burnell, Jacob Rodemich, Kristy Sanchez, and Hayley Navarra.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Rackemann agreed to serve four consecutive life sentences without parole and an additional 20 years for robbery.
Every person entering the courtroom had to be screened and searched before sitting down, even after the first screening downstairs. At one point, ten deputies were inside the courtroom trying to keep the peace.
It comes as photos of Rackemann posing inside the Marion County Jail have surfaced in the past few days, stirring up tension in the case.
Rackemann’s defense attorney mentioned death threats in open court.
Rackemann’s now wife Tia Brassfield got kicked out because of her behavior.
“He will live,” she said, as she was escorted out of court.
Rackemann made a few brief statements about his role in the February 2014 quadruple homicide at a known drug house on Parker Avenue.
“I didn’t mean it to happen, and I apologize,” he said, “I gotta live my life and move forward.”
According to court documents, Rackemann and three others conspired to rob Walter Burnell of drugs and money and killed the others in the course of that robbery. Prosecutors said Rackemann fatally shot Burnell, Rodemich and Sanchez. He also wounded Navarra, prosecutors said, and ordered an accomplice, Valencia Williams, to kill her.
In December 2015, it appeared Rackemann would agree to plead guilty in the case, but he backed out at the last minute and didn't take the deal. Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty if the case went to trial.
“He got his five minutes of fame, and then we’ll never hear from him again, and that’s all I wanted,” said Trisa Alvarado, Hayley Navarra’s mother.
Alvarado said this week has been tough, because of jailhouse snapshots of Rackemann being posted online. An investigation is underway by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to determine how the pictures were taken and released.
“I’m trying to ignore them, but it’s kind of hand when it’s everywhere,” she said.
Hayley’s best friend said the pictures are a publicity stunt, that come as she and loved ones of other victims are still grieving their losses.
“She was only 21, a fresh 21. She never had an opportunity to do anything,” said Lauren Warholak.
Rackemann will be transferred to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Southwestern Indiana. Two other co-defendants have cases pending, while an additional one has entered a plea to lesser charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Two other suspects, Anthony LaRussa and Valencia Williams, also face murder charges. Their trials are scheduled for later this year.
The fourth suspect, Samantha Bradley, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in 2014 in exchange for her testimony against the others.