Valpo man sentenced for shooting wife to death in Portage
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent January 3, 2013 2:05PM
Fredrick Cashner | Photo provided~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 5, 2013 6:25AM
VALPARAISO — If Frederick C. Cashner Jr., 56, gets through his 45-year sentence for the murder of his wife, he will be put on the state’s sex and violent offender registry.
Sentencing of the Valparaiso man on Thursday in Porter County Superior Court also included $1,389 restitution for funeral expenses for Cynthia Cashner, 50, whom he shot eight times with an AK-47 assault rifle on Easter 2011 while she was alone in her Portage business.
Through the sentencing, Cashner remained quiet and didn’t give a statement.
In response to a family victim statement that noted Cashner never showed emotion or apologized, defense attorney Paul G. Stracci said it’s difficult for suspects to show remorse because in the court system, “those admissions are used against them later.”
During his pre-sentencing interview, Cashner showed remorse and also said he wished he could trade places with Cynthia.
“For whatever that’s worth, that’s how he feels,” Stracci said.
The sentencing came from a Dec. 6 plea agreement that Cashner made to the murder charge, which capped his incarceration at 45 years, the lowest amount of time that could be served for a charge that carries a 45- to 65-year sentence.
Cashner, a former vintner for a Porter County wine producer, had claimed not to recall the incidents of April 25, 2011, when he drove to Mystic Moon, on the second floor of 5830 U.S. 6, and forced entry by smashing a steel security door with a hammer.
While he shot her eight times in the head, torso and extremities, the victim dialed 911 on a cell phone at 10:22 p.m., and a dispatcher heard labored breathing for 20 seconds until a male voice said, “It’s too late” and something incoherent.
Three or four gunshots later, the dispatcher heard no more breathing.
“We are certain you intended to kill her,” the victim’s son, Matthew Hooper, said in his victim’s statement.
Hooper had trouble beginning his statement because of tears, but he said his mother told family if she ended up dead, they should tell police he killed her.
Hooper also said Cashner had his mother in a sort of prison. She had filed for divorce in March 2011, and a provisional order gave her a vehicle and made Cashner responsible for bills and continuing health insurance for her.