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Hammond man gets 38 years for killing wife

Updated: June 5, 2013 6:11AM



Family members wondered aloud why James Comanse Sr. killed his estranged wife nearly two years ago instead of just leaving her alone.

Comanse, 50, never answered the question at his sentencing hearing Friday. “I’m sorry,” he said, turning to face the gallery. “You know that I loved her.”

Comanse pleaded guilty March 27 to voluntary manslaughter in the May 15, 2011, homicide of Rosemary Comanse, 47, at her Hammond home. She was shot in the back of the head during an argument.

The defendant’s sister-in-law, Yolanda Comanse, said his young daughter still has nightmares and wakes up screaming.

Defense attorney Matthew Fech said his client has no criminal history. At the time of the shooting, Comanse was mixing prescription pain pills with alcohol.

Comanse also admitted he used the gun to strike his son, Erik Comanse, in a way that could have caused serious bodily injury or death. Erik Comanse was struck in the head repeatedly with the gun.

Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell imposed the 38-year sentence outlined in the plea agreement.

A murder charge punishable by 45 to 65 years was dismissed.

James Comanse Sr. is the father of James Comanse Jr., 30, who was sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the November 2007 shooting death of Marcus Ponce, 18, in East Chicago.



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