AKRON, Ohio – A Summit County grand jury has found a man guilty – for the third time – in the 1992 murder of his girlfriend.
Willard McCarley was found guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Charlene Puffenbarger, a mother of two, who was strangled and beaten in her Twinsburg Township apartment.
The crime went unsolved for more than a decade, then after revisiting the case, investigators with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office charged Willard McCarley for the crime. He was tried in 2005 and convicted.
He was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 26 years, but the conviction was overturned on appeal and in 2007, he went back on trial and with the help of DNA evidence, he was again convicted and again sentenced to life in prison.
In 2014 an appeals court granted him another trial. That ended with this third conviction.
McCarley will be sentenced on Thursday, April 13.