Canaan Accepts Prosecutor's Offer, Long Jail Time Awaits

Published: Jun. 6, 2005 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2005 at 11:12 AM CDT
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Reporter: Stefanie Silvey

Web Producer: Jason Bailey

UPDATE: After serving 20 years for the heinous murder of Lori Bullock, Keith Canaan was informed that he may get a new trial.

In his conviction of the 1986 murder, Canaan was sentenced to death, but that sentencing was overturned, and it would be upon the prosecutor's office if another death sentence would be await Canaan.

The family of the victim wasn't in the courtroom Tuesday, but Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco was present to ensure that justice was done.

Levco says, "This was a case where I really wanted to know what the family thought, because it was a difficult decision for me."

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco would wait to hear Canaan's response before making a decision about his new sentencing. Both Levco and Canaan' attorney, Tom Schornhorst, had concluded that a filing for a death sentence would not be in best interest of everyone.

In all, Canaan agreed to a 160-year sentence: 60 for murder, 30 for being an habitual offender, 20 for burglary and 50 for attempted criminal deviate conduct. He's already served 20, but still will likely be more than a 100-years-old before he's eligible for release.

"I don't think it's likely he'll be released, period," says Levco.

Canaan did not address the court, but his lawyer did request that his client be returned to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

PREVIOUS: Keith Canaan is getting a chance at a new sentence after his conviction in the 1986 murder of Lori Bullock.

He was sentenced to the death penalty, but in 2003 his death sentence was overturned.

After numerous appeals, Canaan is now expected back in Vanderburgh County Circuit Court Tuesday.

The sentence was overturned because a judge ruled that Canaan was not properly instructed that he could have testified during the sentencing phase of his trial. Twenty years later, Canaan could new sentence, but not a new trial.

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco has until mid-June to re file for the death penalty.

He says he may not seek another death sentence if Canaan agrees to an offer he's making.

"I've talked with his attorneys and we've tentatively agreed on a sentence, and at 1 p.m. we'll have a sentencing hearing, and assuming he signs it, and the judge approves it, he will be sentenced to a fixed number of years," says Levco.

The details of the county prosecutor's offer will be released at a hearing on Tuesday, but would not be discussed any sooner while it is negotiated.

Sources tell Newswatch, the amount of time being offered is lengthy.

Canaan declined our request for an interview.