WJTV News Channel 12 - Judge sentences Shane Padgett to life in prison

Judge sentences Shane Padgett to life in prison

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Updated 2:20 p.m.:

Judge James Swanson sentenced Padgett to five consecutive life sentences with no parole plus 175 years in prison for five felonies.

All sentences will run consecutively after each other.  

Judge Swanson said Padgett's crime was quote 'outrageously vile and inhumane.' He said those factors made him eligible for the death penalty.

"Cara did absolutely nothing to bring about or cause what happened to her to happen. I am confident in my belief. She was truly a victim," Roanoke County Judge James Swanson says.

However, Swanson said the Commonwealth failed to prove Padgett would continue to be a threat to society. He said his decision was based on Padgett's absence of violence or prior incarcerations before the murder. He also considered Padgett's extensive history of mental health issues and his use of multiple drugs.


Updated 1:30 p.m.:

Roanoke County Judge James Swanson sentences Shane Padgett to life in prison for the murder of 18-year-old Cara Holley.

Padgett faced the death penalty in this case.

This continues to be a developing story with our crew still inside the courthouse.  We'll have more information as it comes into our newsroom, as well as live reports starting on WSLS 10 at 5 p.m.

At 1:00 p.m. Roanoke County James Swanson is expected to make his decision in the Shane Padgett sentencing. Shane Padgett plead guilty to killing 18-year-old Cara Holley. He faces the death penalty or life in jail.

Wednesday morning we heard closing arguments from the Commonwealth and the defense.

"We are here today because someone is not. Cara Marie Holley,"  Randy Leach Roanoke County Commonwealth Attorney says.

Leach said in his argument that the murder was no accident. Padgett confessed multiple times to planning to kill Holley.

While defense attorney Steve Milani said most people testified that this event was 'utterly out of characteristic for Mr. Padgett.' Milani said Padgett had never shown any signs of violence up until this point and has a long history of mental instability.
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