Man gets 15 years for shooting wife’s ex-beau
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent April 16, 2014 8:40PM
Updated: May 19, 2014 2:07PM
Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell sentenced a Hammond man Thursday to 15 years for a 2011 shooting that left his wife’s ex-boyfriend with serious injuries and a permanent disability.
Thomas Allen Beavers will serve eight years in the Indiana Department of Correction, two years in Lake County Community Corrections and five years on probation, Boswell said.
Beavers, 30, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery in the Dec. 8, 2011 shooting in the parking lot at Nick’s Liquors in the 6800 block of Calumet Avenue in Hammond.
Beavers admitted in court in February that he became angry with Larry Keller, his wife’s ex-boyfriend, and shot him twice in the torso.
Keller, who is in prison for robbery, said in a letter to the judge that he is permanently disabled, has a mental disability and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. One bullet went through his arm and hit a rib and the other went through his right flank, causing a bruised lung and other internal injuries, including loss of about 18 inches of his small intestine.
Defense attorney John Cantrell said his client has no prior criminal convictions and made a poor, split-second decision. He argued that his client was afraid of what might happen and “jumped the gun” when he fired at Keller. Beavers’ uncle, Donald Beavers, and Beaver’s wife, Jessica Zartuche Beavers, described Beavers as a hardworking man and good father to his own son and two stepchildren.
Deputy prosecutor Michael Toth said the nature and circumstances of the crime warranted an aggravated sentence and asked for the maximum 15 years outlined in the plea agreement. He had faced 20 to 50 years on an attempted murder charge, which was dismissed alone with two counts of battery and a misdemeanor handgun charge.
At the time of the shooting, Beavers had Jessica Zartuche Beavers in his truck with him. She pleaded guilty last month to assisting a criminal after admitting she took the gun and a spare magazine containing bullets and hid them in some shrubbery. Boswell sentenced Zartuche Beavers on Thursday to three years. She will serve 18 months in Lake County Community Corrections and 18 months on probation.