Man convicted 3 times in ex’s slaying is sent back to prison


AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A northeastern Ohio man who was tried and convicted three times in the 1992 slaying of his ex-girlfriend has again been sentenced to life in prison, with possible parole after serving 20 years.

Fifty-three-year-old Willard McCarley, of Northfield, already has spent more than a decade behind bars.

He maintains his innocence and didn’t speak at Thursday’s sentencing in Akron. His attorneys plan to appeal his latest aggravated murder conviction, which came after courts found errors in his first two trials.

He was suspected of killing 26-year-old Charlene Puffenbarger at her Twinsburg Township apartment. McCarley wasn’t charged until 2004, after a cold-case re-examination and new DNA testing.

Prosecutors allege that McCarley killed Puffenbarger to avoid paying child support for their son.

McCarley says he was at his home when she died.