Man admits killing wife at her Portage business; faces 45 years in prison
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent December 6, 2012 3:44PM
Fredrick Cashner | Photo provided~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:24AM
A Chesterton area man admitted Thursday to murdering his estranged wife, shooting her multiple times with an AK-47 assault rifle and leaving her dead with her blood splattered in a fine mist over the walls and ceiling of her Portage business.
Fredrick C. Cashner Jr., 56, pleaded to felony murder with the courtroom filled with family of his victim, Cynthia Cashner, 50.
Porter County Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford set Cashner’s sentencing hearing for 11 a.m. Jan. 3.
If Bradford accepts the terms of the plea agreement, he will sentence Cashner to 45 years in prison, which is the minimum amount of time that Indiana law allows for the required 45- to 65-year sentence.
The plea hearing went quickly with Cashner admitting to going to his wife’s place of business with the assault rifle intending to kill her.
The murder happened on Easter night, April 24, 2011.
Cynthia Cashner was staying at her business, Mystic Moon, on the second floor at 5830 U.S. 6, in Portage, because of problems with Cashner.
She had filed for divorce in March 2011, and a provisional order gave her a vehicle and made her husband responsible for marital bills and health insurance for her.
Fredrick Cashner forced entry into the business by smashing in the downstairs blue security steel door, shattering the glass into a spider web pattern held up by the steel mesh embedded in it.
He shot her eight times in the neck, torso and extremities.
Someone had called 911 about 10:22 p.m., but the dispatcher only heard the labored breathing of what police later presumed was Cynthia Cashner.
The dispatcher tried to get a response, but 20 seconds into the call the dispatcher heard a male voice say, “It’s too late” and something indistinct.
After three or four gunshots, the breathing stopped.
Police found her on an air mattress on her back and right side, legs folded as if she’d sat cross-legged, a laptop computer between her legs.
About 30 minutes into the crime scene investigation, the victim’s son called 911 and said Fredrick Cashner called him and told him he had killed Cynthia and that the son should call 911.
A SWAT team soon surrounded Cashner’s residence in the 300 block of East Tratebas Road when he didn’t answer, but when they said they were coming in with a warrant, he walked out and calmly stated, “What took you so long?” and “I’ve been waiting for you, and there’s no problems here,” according to court documents.
In Cashner’s truck, police found an AK-47 with a round chambered, an extra ammunition magazine for it and a hammer with blue paint flakes that matched the door of Mystic Moon.