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Ohio Man Sentenced to Life in 1987 Rape and Murder of Lake Alfred Woman

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Almost thirty years after the crime was committed, a 67-year-old Ohio man was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of allegedly murdering a Lake Alfred woman.

Carl Junior McCauley was sentenced to life in prison in a Polk County courtroom last Thursday. He was convicted earlier of the murder of Karen Ann Watson, which occurred in March, 1987. Watson's nude body was discovered at her home by her husband Charles (now deceased) after returning from an errand. Authorities say the 41-year-old died as a result of multiple stab wounds, and that she had sexual intercourse not long before her death.

The murder became a cold case and was largely forgotten by officials in 2014, when investigators say they matched McCauley's DNA with DNA collected at the scene of the crime. They tracked him down at his then-current residence in Sandusky, Ohio and was subsequently extradited to Florida to face charges of murder and rape for the slaying.

Investigators say that McCauley initially acknowledged knowing the Watsons and where they resided, but denied entering the home and having sexual intercourse with Karen Watson. They say that he eventually admitted to having sex with her, but denied murdering her.

Charges were initially dropped by prosecutors without explanation and he was released from custody in September 2014, but was then re-arrested and indicted the subsequent February. During the two-week trial defense attorneys said Watson was killed by her husband after he discovered her having an affair, but prosecutors countered by claiming that he was twenty miles away and was cleared via DNA testing. The jury agreed with county prosecutors, finding McCauley guilty on both counts.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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