Prosecutor says it will take time, money to seek death penalty in quadruple murder case

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 16, 2014) -- Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Rick Hite are seeking capital punishment in the case against accused killer Kenneth Rackemann. Rackemann is a suspect in the murder of four people inside a south side home in February.

Tuesday, Curry and Hite announced they will pursue the death penalty for 24-year-old Kenneth Rackemann. They believe he pulled the trigger on the gun that killed 22-year-old Kristy Sanchez, 43-year-old Jacob Rodemich and 47-year-old Walter Burnell. Prosecutors also said he wounded 21-year-old Hayley Navarra and ordered one of his accomplices to kill her. The killings happened inside Burnell's home, which neighbors and investigators said was a known drug house.

"The punishment meets the crime in this case," Hite said.

Hite said it was a horrific crime and that going for the rarely used death sentence may serve to deter others from going down a violent path.

"Just the fact that the prosecutor very rarely uses the death penalty sends the message that the community gets it and society says 'no more.' The fact is, we have individuals, a small few, who just don't understand that we are all tired of the violence in our society," Hite said.

Curry said, as with all cases under consideration for the death penalty, that he spoke with the victims' families in the case and weighed their wishes in making his decision.

"I think it's important that the family understands that we're in it for the long haul if we go down the path of seeking capital punishment. They could be in this for years," said Curry.

Victim Jacob Rodemich's mother spoke to FOX59 and said she agreed with the decision to seek the death penalty.

Curry also said one of the considerations is the cost it takes to prosecute a death penalty case. Some last 15 years and cost more than one million dollars.

According to the Indiana Public Defender Council, death penalty cases nationally and in Indiana have steadily declined since 1993 when the sentence of life without the possibility of parole was made available.

The last time the death penalty was considered in Marion County was in 2011 for Thomas Hardy who shot and killed IMPD officer David Moore. Curry worked closely with Moore's family at that time. Ultimately, Hardy entered a guilty plea and is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

 

 

 

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