A 37-year-old Indiana woman will likely spend the rest of her life behind bars after she was convicted on all charges in a rape and murder case that left two men dead and a community in shock. Vanderburgh County Circuit Court Judge David Kiely on Friday ordered Heidi Kathleen Carter to serve a sentence of 65 years in a state prison, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.
A jury last month found Carter guilty on all six felony counts she was facing, including one count of murder, two counts of aiding, inducing or causing forcible rape, and three counts of criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon. She was sentenced to 65 years for murder, 40 years for each of the rape charges and 16 years for each of the confinement charges, with the sentences to run concurrent to the murder sentence.
In November, a different set of jurors found Carter guilty on one count of misdemeanor carrying a firearm without a permit but could not agree on the other counts, resulting in a partial mistrial.
Carter was arrested at her Evansville home in October 2021 after a woman hired to clean the house found the body of Tim Ivy, 50, and a woman who had been sexually assaulted, severely beaten, and restrained with duct tape. Evansville is 180 miles south of Indianapolis.
Carter on Friday addressed the court and continued to maintain that she too was a victim of the violence and horrors wrought by her then-boyfriend, Carrey Hammond. Hammond severely beat Ivy before strangling him to death and sexually assaulted the female victim before being fatally shot by responding law enforcement officers.
“Yes, I was living in sin,” Carter told the court, according to a report from the Evansville Courier & Press. ”But, did I commit any crimes? No. Under the circumstances, I did the best that I could. I’m a victim, too.”
But Judge Kiely clearly did not appreciate the defendant’s defiant tone, saying that the court noted her “lack of concern that a human life has been lost” prior to handing down the sentence.
Ivy’s ex-wife, daughter, and mother all submitted victim impact statements seeking to have Carter put away for a very long time.
“The only man to truly understand me is gone, and it feels like most of me went with him,” Ivy’s 24-year-old daughter reportedly wrote. “I will never understand or recover from this.”
Stan Levco, of the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office, reportedly spoke to the Courier & Press after the hearing and said that his office was pleased with the judge’s sentencing decision.
“This murder and rape were one of the most sadistic — if not the most sadistic — I’ve ever prosecuted,” he told the newspaper.
Police said that Carter and the female victim met on an LGTBQ dating app, and Carter invited her and Ivy, the victim’s boyfriend at the time, to her home on Oct. 19, 2021.
According to court documents, when the couple arrived at Carter’s home, the three drank alcohol and took drugs before engaging in consensual sexual activity.
Hammond walked in as the three were engaged in sexual activity and became enraged. The surviving female victim told investigators that Hammond grabbed a baseball bat and beat Ivy.
“The next thing I know there’s a man bursting through the door with a baseball bat attacking us,” she testified during the trial, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
Hammond restrained the couple with duct tape, “beating and abusing them for hours,” according to the affidavit. The victim testified that Carter helped Hammond restrain the couple and held a gun on them, repeatedly threatening to kill the victims.
The woman testified that Carter continued to hold the gun on her while Hammond repeatedly raped her, the Courier & Press reported. She reportedly described Carter as excited and angry during the sexual assault, saying she told Hammond to “do anything he wants” to her.
The victim said that after the assault, Carter left the home for a couple of hours, which is when Hammond severely beat Ivy before using a belt to strangle him to death because Hammond saw Ivy trying to escape his restraints.
Later, a woman Carter hired to help her clean the house in preparation for a landlord inspection found the female victim restrained and begging for help, authorities say.
The woman sat down on what she thought was a pile of blankets covering Ivy’s body.
When police arrived at the house, Hammond left the home aggressively and held an object shaped like a handgun, police said. Officers opened fire, killing him. Police said he had a metal and plastic object that looked like a gun in his hand, and police described Hammond’s death as suicide-by-cop.
Carter told police she only pretended to help Hammond and held the gun on the victims to appease him.
Carter reportedly said she plans to appeal the sentence.
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