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 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 already has spent more than a decade behind bars.

He maintains his innocence and didn’t speak at his sentencing Thursday in Summit County court in Akron. His attorneys plan to appeal his latest aggravated murder conviction.

The Northfield man was suspected of killing 26-year-old Charlene Puffenbarger at her Twinsburg Township apartment. McCarley wasn’t charged until 2004, after a cold case team re-examined the slaying and new DNA testing occurred.

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

McCarley says he was at his home when Puffenbarger died.