49 year old Tarrence Lee has already spent some 20 years in prison for murder—only to get out and kill again.
Today, Lee was found guilty of murder for the third time. This time—for the August strangulation of his wife Trina Winston at their Mishawaka apartment.
A three day bench trial was held last week and today Judge John Marnocha announced his decision.
Tarrence Lee was last sentenced to prison for murder about 25 years ago (in 1987), yet, next month (December 21st), it’ll happen again.
“He already had 150-years, we shouldn’t be here. How do you think we fell as the family,” said Traci Winston, Trina’s sister.
While Winston’s relatives today left the courthouse satisfied with the guilty verdict, there’s no way they’ll be satisfied with the sentence because Life Without Parole is not an option in Indiana.
“I do not want to see another family go through this, I do not want to hear it anymore,” said another sister of the victim’s, Sheila Winston-Redding. “It has to stop, the politicians, the legislators, the judges, and the lawyers please take a look at what you’re doing.”
The push to see justice done for Trina Winston has been a tricky one in several ways.
For instance, when two men testified at trial that they had helped Tarrence Lee move and hide Winston’s body—the family demanded that additional criminal charges be brought.
“We made the determination not to charge them for the specific reason that if those individuals would not have cooperated, if those individuals would not have testified, we would not have been able to secure a conviction,” said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter.
The case was a challenging one for the prosecution in that Winston’s body remained undiscovered for about two months after Lee was arrested.
All along, Lee had pushed for a speedy trial, and the body was found in the nick of time, on October 24th, less than a month ago.
While the trial is over, the victim’s family will continue to push for sentencing reform.
A petition drive has already been started on www.change.org.