By Stan Maddux
3:01 PM EST, December 14, 2012
A man and his wife from the upscale community of Long Beach were fighting when a gun kept inside the home went off, killing the woman. That's according to authorities, who charged 47-year-old John Larkin with Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.
The charge was leveled after evidence from the case was presented Thursday to LaPorte Superior Court 1 Judge Kathleen Lang, who ruled there was sufficient evidence to try him on the allegations.
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said information gathered from the investigation indicates there was a fight between Mr. Larkin and his wife, 41-year-old Stacey Larkin, inside the family's residence. Szilagyi said it appears from the investigation that at some point Mrs. Larkin retrieved a gun from a gun safe and Mr. Larkin was trying to get the gun away from her when the firearm went off.
''That's the evidence we have at this point,'' he said.
Szilagyi said the evidence indicates Larkin did not intend to kill her but did so ''during sudden heat,'' which under Indiana qualifies as voluntary manslaughter.
''Murder requires specific intent to kill. There's a very big difference,'' said Szilagyi.
Police responded Tuesday night to the home in the 2900 block of Lothair Way on a report from an unknown caller of a woman being shot in the chest. A body was found but where the shooting occurred was not disclosed.
Szilagyi said the couple was having some marital issues and when Mr. Larkin came home ''there was a fight.''
Szilagyi said the case is still being investigated so it's possible the charge against Larkin could change depending on the discovery of any new findings.
''There's a lot of things we have to look at yet. It may change. We have to wait and see,'' said Szilagyi.
Larkin could face a maximum 50 years on the charge.
The couple had four children.
Mr. Larkin ran for a seat on the Long Beach Town Council in 2011 but lost in a close race.
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