Chavez Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall sentenced the Knox man convicted last month of murdering his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and carjacking an English Lake couple last June to 105 years in prison with no time suspended.

Gary Chavez told the judge during his sentencing hearing he thought he should get the death penalty because he believes in the Bible and an eye for an eye. That was not an option, as his was not a capital murder case. During his trial Chavez testified he had no recollection of beating Kimberly Chavez to death, dragging her body out of his rural Knox home, rolling it up in a grill cover and leaving it next to his house before fleeing. Chavez tearfully apologized to Kim’s family and told her sister, Dawn Eidman, “I’m sorry that I took your best friend away.”

Eidman and her sister, Sandra Hodges, both testified during the sentencing hearing about how their sister’s murder has devastated their close-knit family. Hodges described the ensuing months as a “living hell,” and Eidman added “This was not just the murder of my sister. It was the murder of all those who loved her.

Judge Hall described Kim Chavez’ death as a “brutal, savage beating” and noted the more than 25 puncture wounds and multiple skull fractures went beyond the mere elements of murder and constituted extreme pain and suffering. He sentenced Chavez to the maximum 65 years in prison for murder.

Judge Hall also sentenced Chavez to 30 years in prison for the A felony offense of kidnapping and 10 years for carjacking as a B felony. The sentences will be served consecutively, for a total of 105 years. Chavez will get credit for time served and will be appointed a public defender to handle his appeals.