A woman who didnt tell authorities about the death of her roommate before the 75-year-olds body was found stuffed in a suitcase could spend at least seven years in prison under the recommendation of the Ada County Prosecutors Office.
Deputy Prosecutor Shelley Akamatsu said Thursday shell recommend Carrie Lea Horsman, 44, be sentenced to 14 years in prison with eligibility for parole after seven years. But Horsmans lawyer, John DeFranco, said he plans to ask for less time, though he said he hasnt decided exactly how much.
I take it very seriously and I think the court expects me to make a rational decision, one thats consistent with reality, DeFranco said.
4th District Judge Patrick Owen will have the final decision when Horsman appears before him at 9 a.m. Dec. 12. Court officials have scheduled two hours for the hearing in anticipation of comments from victim Dee R. Lynns friends and family, as well as Horsmans supporters.
Horsman, who has been at the Ada County Jail since May, faces a maximum of 24 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to failing to report a death and grand theft for stealing $7,525 from Lynn. Grand theft carries 14 years while failing to report carries 10.
It took five years for police and prosecutors to bring a case against Horsman, who told detectives she didnt know what happened to Lynn, even though the elderly womans body was in a suitcase in the garage of the home she shared with Horsman in Meridian. The badly decomposed body was discovered June 22, 2007. No cause of death was ever determined, but the Meridian Police Department has long considered it a homicide and has said Horsman is a person of interest.
Lt. Mike De St. Germain said Thursday that the case remains open, though they have no new evidence to examine.
Its not going to be closed down, he said.
DeFranco said he feels the circumstances of the case warrant less time behind bars. He pointed to the fact that Horsman had graduated from drug court long before her arrest and after Lynns death. Life in jail has been difficult, DeFranco said.
I think its hard for anybody, especially somebody who graduated drug court and had their life together and was doing well, DeFranco said.
Horsman was in drug court because of a previous theft conviction involving another roommate at a home in Boise. DeFranco said Horsman was more of a roommate than a caretaker for Lynn. She helped clean the home and take Lynns blood pressure as part of a rental agreement.
DeFranco declined to discuss further details of the case but said Horsman plans to speak at her sentencing.
Stay tuned for sentencing, DeFranco said. I think more questions will be answered.
Meghann M. Cuniff: 377-6418