A Shelbyville man has been sentenced for his role in the death of Jennifer Farquer in August of last year.
Derick Nigh was sentenced Tuesday to 43 years after being convicted of charges of Voluntary Manslaughter (enhanced by use of a firearm) and Theft.
Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen says Nigh shot and killed Jennifer Farquer on August 31, 2018, at a family member’s residence on East Franklin Street. The two had been dating for about a month. Nigh continued drinking and did not call for help or awaken the homeowner. When the homeowner woke up the next morning, he found Nigh still awake and drinking. Nigh eventually told the homeowner that he had killed Farquer.
The homeowner called 911, but was disconnected. Police still responded, and located Farquer’s body on a couch. While police were working the scene, an officer noticed a bulge in the lower-leg area of Nigh’s pants, and found a gun with blood on it. Nigh had stolen the gun some time prior to the shooting.
Nigh told police that he thought Farquer had overdosed, and that he and Farquer had been using meth and heroin the previous night (later lab reports would show that neither had either drug in their system).
Nigh claimed that he would never hurt Farquer, other than backhanding her to the face. Nigh was arrested and charged with Murder, Theft, and Possession of a Firearm with Previous Felony Conviction. Prosecutor Landwerlen also filed an enhancement for use of a firearm in committing the crime, which carries a 5-20 year additional sentence.
As the parties prepared for trial, Nigh offered to plead guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter, with the enhancement for use of a firearm. Landwerlen met with Farquer s family, and the family wanted to accept the offer. Landwerlen, however, demanded that Nigh also plead guilty to the Theft of the firearm, and also a “floor” of 38 years on the executed sentence.
The prosecutor says voluntary manslaughter is basically murder committed “in the heat of the moment”. As officers noted fresh scratches and injuries to Nigh’s face and arms, allegedly left by Farquer, Landwerlen explained that the charge seemed to fit the facts.
Landwerlen asked for a sentence of 50 years all executed, pointing primarily to Nigh’s criminal record (22 criminal charges in the 9 years he’s been a adult), and to Nigh’s lack of remorse (Nigh continued partying for hours after shooting Farquer while she died and while her body remained on the couch, and later lied repeatedly to police).
Nigh’s defense attorneys asked for a sentence of 43 years with 40 executed.
Judge Kent Apsley sentenced Nigh to 43 years with 41 executed at the Indiana Department of Corrections and then two years served on house arrest. Under the current law regarding good time credit, Nigh will have to serve at least 31.25 actual years before he will be eligible for release.