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Former deputy prosecutor escapes jail time in sentencing

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A federal judge on Monday morning sentenced Marion County's former chief deputy prosecutor to three years of probation, six months of home detention and community service over federal bribery charges.

David Wyser pleaded guilty in July to charges of accepting a $2,500 bribe in 2009 from a prisoner's father to reduce her 70-year sentence on murder charges. She was released after 18 years in prison.

Prosecutors requested leniency for Wyser, citing his cooperation in an investigation of his ex-boss, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Federal prosecutors announced in October that Brizzi wouldn't face charges that he accepted bribes while in office.

The case against Wyser centered on the early release of Paula Willoughby, who had been convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme. Her father, Harrison Epperly, made large political contributions to Brizzi and Wyser as their office was considering a potential sentence modification.

Willoughby was sentenced to 110 years in prison in 1991 after her husband was gunned down outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An appeal shrank the sentence to 70 years. The modification cut it to time served, and Willoughby was freed in July 2009.

Epperly gave at least $29,000 to Brizzi from 2006 to 2008, and also donated $2,500 to Wyser. The latter came in 2009, before the filing of the sentence modification in court.

The charging document alleged that a $2,500 contribution to Wyser was "a reward for his sentence modification recommendation" in the Willoughby case.

Both Brizzi and Wyser later returned their donations, many of which came through Epperly’s company EMSP LLC.

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  • Justice Murdered
    Boiling this down to it's essence, to explain to my kids: 1. A prosecutor's sacred trust is to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, and he swears an oath to do so. They are the white hats. 2. A murderer is the worst of criminals, willing to take a life, the biggest crime there is. 3. Wyser utterly betrayed his trust, violated his oath, and did so for personal gain. 4. He cut the worst of criminals loose, a woman who planned, paid for, and brought about the murder of her own husband. 5. Wyser did it for money. 6. Wyser walks among us. 7. This is not justice, my sons.
  • Disciplinary Commission
    I would add that no Disciplinary charges have never been filed against Wyser even though his conviction for a felony happened months ago. I don't know what it will take for the Supreme Court to see a need to review how the DC is operated, including how the DC is very unevenhanded in applying disciplinary rules. A priority should be placed on protecting the public from unethical attorneys. Unfortunately no such priorities exist with this DC.
  • In all fairness,
    Joe Hogsett owns this mess.
  • Indiana Public Corruption Rivals Chicago
    Guess all this talk by US Attorney Joe Hogsett & Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry about taking on our culture of public corruption amounts to nothing as ALL senior public officials get a pass on justice. IURC David Lott Hardy & Scott Storms got off. FSSA/ACS Mitch Roob got off. Former Governor Mitch Daniels/Purdue Conflict of Interest went nowhere. We even have a Supreme Court Justice Massa that refuses to recuse himself of a clear conflict of interest with Mark Lubbers sweetheart Rockport utility case. Heck we even have Indiana Inspector General David Thomas who spends all his time giving favorable informal opinions to señor government officials and dodging press inquiries into his lack of action in the most obvious of public corruption cases.
    • So Terry Curry...
      So now that we have absolute confirmation that Paula Willoughby's early release was achieved through fraud and deceit, will the Marion County Prosecutor's Office seek to have her real sentence reinstated? The same sentence that was affirmed by high courts twice? This is a woman who arranged the murder of her husband and has NEVER accepted any responsibility for her actions. Usually accepting responsibility is one of the only ways you can get a sentence modification. Unless, of course, your rich daddy is willing to bribe the prosecutor. Do the right thing Terry, put her back in prison and show the world that the Marion County Prosecutor's Office finally has a spine.
    • Poppa, you are right.
      Consider yourself slapped. And poor Tim Durham. I'm sure he was expecting friends to join him for the holidays.
    • Who you know
      Murderer back on the street and the man making it possible doesn't serve any jail time. This is a slap in the face for those of us who follow the law

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