Meridian Police spent years investigating the case and are frustrated prosecutors werent able to charge Carrie Horsman in connection with Lynns death.
Horsman insists she did not kill her 75-year-old landlady. Horsman admitted in court Wednesday to stealing from Lynn and hiding her body, saying she did both while on a dark journey of drug addiction.
I stole from Dee Lynn several times. I placed her in a suitcase and left her, too selfish and panicked to let the authorities or her family know where she was and what happened, Horsman said.
She said she took advantage of someone whod befriended her, and denied Lynns family a dignified funeral.
There is no justification or excuse for my actions.
Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen sentenced Horsman to 15 years in jail Wednesday on charges of grand theft and failure to report a body. Horsman, 44, can ask for parole after serving five years.
Horsman has been at the Ada County Jail since May after being arrested in connection with theft of $7,525 from Lynn in 2007.
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 found in a suitcase in the garage of the home she shared with Horsman in Meridian.
Horsman has never provided an explanation for what happened to police, but told court investigators she didnt have anything to do with Lynns death. Horsman said she found Lynns body inside the home and decided to hide it because she was scared and intoxicated on pills at the time.
No cause of death was ever determined but the Meridian Police Department has long considered it a homicide. Horsman was seen on surveillance video using Lynn's credit card on June 16, 2007, three days before Horsman and another housemate reported her missing. Police eventually found Lynns decomposed body June 22, 2007, while searching the home as part of a check-fraud investigation involving Horsman.
John DeFranco, Horsmans attorney, told Owen there has never been any evidence that Horsman had anything to do with the Lynns death. DeFranco said Horsman has turned her life around after going through Ada County drug court and has been sober for years which is why he recommended a sentence of probation and jail time for Horsman, saying she was not a risk to re-offend.
Owen acknowledged that Horsman did appear to display genuine remorse, but he disagreed with DeFranco, saying a sentence without prison time would significantly depreciate the seriousness of Horsmans crimes.
Horsman fought back tears in court Wednesday before she learned her fate.
I know I did steal. I expect to be punished. I brought this on myself, Horsman said. I know nothing I say or do will change what I did. But I am sorry.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr