INDIANAPOLIS — A Long Beach man is charged again with the fatal shooting of his wife in a case that was previously dismissed.
In a unanimous decision Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered John Larkin to stand trial for the 2012 killing of Stacey Larkin inside the couple’s home in Long Beach.
The 41-year-old woman was shot twice in the chest.
Larkin could face 20 to 50 years on Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.
The high court ruling overturned previous decisions by the Indiana Court of Appeals and special Judge Patrick Blankenship from Pulaski County.
Blankenship and the appellate court agreed with Larkin's argument that his rights were violated by law enforcement.
Larkin cited privileged conversations with his attorney being recorded and used to compile evidence.
Various aspects of the case — including insurance, filing for divorce, the couple’s children and possible defenses — were included in those talks.
Other allegations by Larkin included a lead detective having an officer change his statement about that officer’s prior interaction with Larkin’s wife prior to her death.
In its written decision, the Supreme Court ruled law enforcement on "numerous occasions" engaged in misconduct but that those actions should not result in outright dismissal.
Instead, a jury can decide the case once the trial court judge decides which evidence, if any, to suppress because of the misconduct, the high court decided.
According to court records, Larkin never denied shooting his wife.
Larkin claimed she had a gun when he confronted her about her substance abuse, and during a struggle the weapon discharged, according to court records.
Long Beach Police Chief Bob Sulkowski disagreed with the findings of misconduct, but hailed the dismissal of the case being reversed.
"I’m ecstatic we’re going to get some justice for Stacey and her family," he said.