Indiana serial killer takes plea deal, spared death penalty after killing 7 women

Darren Vann

CROWN POINT, Ind. — A former Marine who admitted to killing seven women in a plea deal with Indiana prosecutors has been sentenced to seven life sentences.

Darren Vann was to be tried in October in the strangulation deaths of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy of Hammond, and 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville. Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Vann in their deaths.

In entering the plea deal, Vann was spared a death sentence when he was sentenced Friday.

Authorities say the 47-year-old Vann preyed on women in an area of Gary, Indiana, known as a hangout for prostitutes and drug users.

Vann was arrested in October 2014 as Hammond police investigated the killing of Hardy, whose body was found in a bathtub inside a Hammond motel room.

Vann, who received an “other than honorable” discharge in 1993, moved to Gary after his July 2013 release from a Texas prison where he served time on a sexual assault charge involving a prostitute.