Monday, February 28, 2011
Killer of Carthage couple pleads guilty
In a plea hearing today in Jasper County Circuit Court, Darren Winans, Jasper, admitted to killing Bob and Ellen Sheldon of Carthage, and that admission is going to keep him alive.
Winans pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, and one count of burglary.
The death penalty was taken off the table for Winans in exchange for his guilty plea. Sentencing will take place 9 a.m. May 4. Judge Gayle Crane ordered a sentencing assessment to be conducted by the Board of Probation and Parole to be submitted by April 4.
She will defer her acceptance of the plea agreement until May 4, according to online court records.
If the plea is accepted, it will bring an end to a case that shocked Carthage to its core. Winans and Matthew Laurin both pleaded guilty to the October 2009 murders of the Sheldons, who owned The Old Cabin Shop.
Laurin, 20, Springfield, pleaded guilty in 2010 and hung himself the next day in the Jasper County Jail.