Monday, February 12, 2001

Ind. woman's killer faces trial in Fla.

The Associated Press

        A man who admitted killing an Indiana grandmother during a burglary is to face trial this week in Florida on charges he shot at police officers while he was a fugitive.

        Christopher R. Pavey, 25, of Indianapolis was extradited to Sarasota, Fla., last year to face 16 charges, including attempted murder and kidnapping.

        Mr. Pavey has been sentenced to 102 years in prison for the 1998 slaying of Norma Jean Mohr, 61, during a burglary at her Shelby County home southeast of Indianapolis. After the killing, Mr. Pavey and three accomplices fled to Sarasota, where police say he took three people hostage during a 45-minute standoff and shot at officers trying to arrest him on Siesta Key.

        Even though Mr. Pavey will not be eligible for parole in Indiana until 2049, when he turns 74, Florida authorities sought his extradition.

        “It's a matter of a few thousand dollars to ensure that a cold-blooded killer stays in prison for the rest of his life,” said Peter Lombardo, a Sarasota-based assistant state attorney. “The victims (in Indiana) think it's worth it, every police officer who was shot at in Sarasota County believes it was worth it, and every single person and tourist also believes it's worth it.”

        A conviction could bring life in state prison in Florida, to be served after the Indiana sentence.

        Brownie Egan, one of the hostages held at gunpoint, wonders why it is necessary.

        “Yes, he had a gun, but nobody was really physically damaged,” he said.

        “That's why I think it's ludicrous, after he received 102 years. We'll all be dead and buried by the time his (Indiana sentence) is over. What does it matter in the scheme of things?”

        Ms. Mohr's relatives in Indiana say they support the Florida prosecutors. Her son, Steve Mohr, said he thought the Indiana sentence fell short.

        “Is this overkill? By no means,” Mr. Mohr said. “Chris Pavey is probably the scariest guy I have ever dealt with in my life.”

        Mr. Pavey has said his group went to Sarasota after the October 1998 killing, intending to earn money by working at a dog track, then move on to the Bahamas.

        During the standoff, he said, he had no intention of hurting anyone.

        “The whole time I was doing this, it was hilarious. It was not only like a movie, but I was the main character in it,” he told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune last week.


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