Wednesday, March 02, 2005



Man gets 210 years for bar shooting

Associated Press
March 2, 2005

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- A man who pleaded guilty to shooting four people inside a bar, killing two of them, and another shooting that left a man paralyzed has been sentenced to 210 years in prison.

As Vanderburgh Circuit Court Judge Carl Heldt announced the sentence Tuesday for James E. Durham Jr., 26, the courtroom burst into applause.

Under the sentence, Durham will not be eligible for parole until 2108.

Durham was sent to the Logansport State Mental Hospital after he was first ruled incompetent to stand trial for the May 2003 shootings. Psychiatrists placed him on medication and said later he was competent to stand trial.

Two court-appointed psychiatrists testified Tuesday that Durham suffers from undifferentiated schizophrenia and a below-average IQ of 80.

"This man has a disease that's not a voluntary disease," defense attorney Cole Banks said.

Durham, of Evansville, was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the shootings of four people at Stan's Place tavern.

Witnesses told investigators that a man entered the bar and began talking "biblical gibberish." When the man was asked to leave, he pulled a gun and began firing, killing Steven W. Winnecke, 50, and Marsha Fraser, 52, and wounding two others.

Durham also pleaded guilty to attempted murder for shooting Joseph Scales in the neck the day before the tavern attack. The shooting left Scales a quadriplegic.

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