A sentencing date of April 20th is set for a man convicted in the deadly shooting of his brother and sister-in-law at their Mishawaka home.
It was back in June of 2012 when Steven Clippinger took aim on the couple during an argument. On Monday, a judge decided Clippinger should be sentenced to life without parole for the two murder counts.
A sentence for a count of being a serious felon in possession of a firearm will be decided next month.
Below is more information sent to 95.3 MNC by the St.Joseph County Proseuctor’s Office:
Judge Frese found that the aggravating circumstances presented outweighed the mitigating circumstances presented by defense’s mitigation expert, and that Steven Clippinger, 44, should be sentenced to Life Imprisonment Without Parole for
the two counts of Murder of which he was previously found guilty.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Frese. At that time, the Court will determine the sentence for Count III, Serious Violent Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and whether it will run consecutively to the two counts of Murder.
Steven Clippinger was previously found guilty on October 1, 2014, after a three-day bench trial, of: Serious Violent Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Class B Felony, as well as two counts of Murder in the June 2, 2012, deaths of his brother and his brother’s wife.
The State previously filed an Amended Information requesting the sentence enhancement of Life Imprisonment Without Parole. Since Clippinger was convicted, he was entitled to have a mitigation expert testify on his behalf in the LWOP phase of the trial. Generally, the LWOP phase of the trial occurs immediately following the trial itself. However, in order to afford the mitigation expert time to prepare, the Court previously continued the LWOP portion of the trial to today’s date.
Jenifer Leveque was previously found guilty as charged in this matter with Assisting a Criminal, a Class C Felony, and Transfer of a Handgun to a Felon, a Class C Felony. Leveque was sentenced to 4 years on Count I: Assisting a Criminal, a Class C Felony, and 8 years on Count II: Transfer of a Handgun to a Felon, a Class C Felony. The sentences are to run consecutively for a total of 12 years.