LAFAYETTE – A 21-year-old Indiana woman has been sentenced to 44 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that she plotted with two roommates to beat her boyfriend to death and hide his acid-soaked body in a shallow grave.
Carolann Clear of Lafayette was sentenced Friday in Tippecanoe County Superior Court, the Journal & Courier reported. Clear pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and fraud in the July 2011 death of Jeremy Gibson, her 26-year-old boyfriend. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of murder and criminal confinement.
Gibson’s body was found July 8 in a shallow grave near the town of Montmorenci, about 10 miles northwest of Lafayette.
Authorities said Clear had been staying with Gibson in his downtown Lafayette apartment, along with Darren J. Englert of Lafayette and Antonio O.J. Williams of West Lafayette. The group spent every day drinking, doing Klonopin, fighting and having sex, said Clear’s attorney, Chief Deputy Public Defender Michael Trueblood. Klonopin is an anti-anxiety drug that is often abused.
Court records said Williams and Englert forced Gibson from the apartment with a belt around his neck and drove around before stopping to get a pickax, a shovel and other items they used in the roadside killing. Gibson suffered several blows to the head, but the medical examiner’s office determined the fatal injury was a laceration to his spine that severed two arteries.
Although Clear is not suspected of beating Gibson, she was accused of goading Williams and Englert. A probable cause affidavit also stated that it was Clear’s idea to bury Gibson’s nude body and fold him in a fetal position because the grave was too small.
The three returned to pour acid over Gibson’s body, she told investigators.
Clear apologized to Gibson’s family in a letter that she read in court Friday and pinned the blame on her co-defendants.
I became stuck. I did it out of fear, Clear said. I was feeling overwhelmed. Things took a turn for the worst, and I never saw it coming.
Williams died a year ago of complications from a drug overdose while serving time for an unrelated robbery conviction. Englert will be sentenced Jan. 29 for conspiracy to commit murder and other charges.