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Widmyer to serve life without mercy

August 30, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - William Trampas Widmyer was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole Monday for killing his former wife in a jealous rampage last November.

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Before he was sentenced, Widmyer turned to the woman's family sitting in the courtroom and said he was sorry, according to Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Thompson.

Widmyer, 30, was found guilty June 22 of first-degree murder for shooting Tara Widmyer as she sat in her living room with her boyfriend at her home in Ranson, W.Va.

The jury made no recommendation for mercy, meaning Widmyer has no hope of ever being paroled.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. also ordered Widmyer to pay $25,825 in restitution to people affected by the slaying.

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Tara Widmyer's family is to get $17,625 to to defray the cost of her funeral and for counseling for the couple's 6-year-old daughter.

Another $8,200 is to be paid to Tara Widmyer's boyfriend, Larry Miller, 32, of Charles Town, who was shot in the stomach and the knee in the Nov. 16, 1998, incident.

Miller has said damage to his leg may be permanent.

Widmyer also was sentenced on related charges: two to 10 years for malicious assault, one to 10 for breaking and entering, one year for destruction of property, one year for petit larceny and one to five years for possessing a stolen vehicle..

Even though Widmyer must spend the rest of his life in prison, Steptoe ordered all of the sentences to be served consecutively instead of concurrently, Thompson said.

He said he believes Steptoe was sending a message that people who commit such crimes will get the maximum punishment allowed by law.

Tara Widmyer and Miller were shot as they watched television in her house at 107-B E. Sixth Ave. in Ranson.

When police arrived, they found Miller crawling out the front door and yelling for help. Tara Widmyer was dead in the living room.

Police said Widmyer had problems coping with the fact that his former wife had started a new life.

Tara Widmyer's parents and William Trampas Widmyer's mother were present for the sentencing.

Robert Wilbourne, Tara Widmyer's father, said the hardest part about his daughter's death is the senselessness of it.

"There was just no reason," he said.

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