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Woman sentenced to 60 years for murder

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@wabashplaindealer.com

A 34-year-old woman from Columbia City was sentenced to 60 years, Monday in Wabash County Circuit Court, for the murder of her ex-husband.

Tiffany Chapman-Lane turned herself in for the murder of Jason Chapman in May 2017 after shooting him six times at his residence, according to a probable cause affidavit.

According to police records, Chapman and his wife, Sarah Chapman, had received a text message from Chapman-Lane around 8 p.m. on May 25, 2017. Chapman-Lane said she needed to drop off some documents at her ex-husband’s residence. Acknowledging the protection order filed against Chapman-Lane, Jason Chapman asked her to meet him at the police department.

The couple notified North Manchester Police Department and were on their way to the office when they noticed Chapman-Lane’s car pulling up on Wayne Street. They turned around to return to their house on East Fifth Street, Sarah Chapman told police, when they say Chapman-Lane parked “in the middle of the road with the car door open.”

Sarah Chapman turned to Jacob Chapman and reportedly said, “That’s her, Jacob. Call the police,” according to court documents. He notified police and they were on their way to the residence.

The couple then pulled in the driveway of the home at 619 E. Fifth St. and got out of the car. Sarah Chapman noted that Chapman-Lane was almost to the door when she turned around and gave Jacob Chapman the documents.

He then told her that the police were on their way and she opened fire on him, Sarah Chapman said.

He fell to the ground and Sarah Chapman grabbed Chapman-Lane’s arm. She fired another shot at Sarah Chapman and then left. Sarah Chapman’s step-father, Steve Hartin, came to her and noticed Jacob Chapman facedown in the driveway. He applied pressure to her arm, and told police Sarah Chapman hadn’t noticed that she’d been shot.

Chapman-Lane returned to the scene and shot Jacob Chapman once more in the back of the head, Sarah Chapman said.

Chapman-Lane then left in her white Ford Taurus. She drove to the police department and turned herself in, also telling police that the only weapon she had was a five-shot revolver on the passenger side floor board.

When police arrived on scene, they noted Jacob Chapman lying facedown in the driveway in a pool of blood. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner confirmed during an autopsy he had been shot six times that night. 

Sarah Chapman was transported to the hospital for her wound to her arm. 

Chapman-Lane was initially charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, carrying a handgun without a license, and use of a firearm enhancement.

Judge Robert McCallen III sentenced her to 60 years for murder and 40 years for attempted murder, both Level 1 felonies, and all other charges were dismissed. The sentence will be served concurrently, and she will have the option to modify her sentence after the equivalent of 45 years. She was credited with 592 days of jail time and 197 days Class B credit time.