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51-year-old Indianapolis man sentenced to 55 years for murdering his girlfriend

Police lights flash on top of an IMPD patrol car at a crime scene. Two people were shot, one fatally, in a double shooting in a neighborhood off 58th Street on Indianapolis' northeast side on March 25, 2024. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A 51-year-old Indianapolis man received a 55-year sentence for his role in the shooting death of his girlfriend in 2020, Marion County prosecutors announced on Friday.

In January, a jury found John Henry guilty of murdering his girlfriend, 33-year-old Tara Smith, at his west side Indianapolis apartment.

On Oct. 27, 2020, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to the Darby Court Apartments near Grand Prix Drive and North High School Road on a call of a woman shot.

Officers found Smith in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest. She died at the scene.

According to prosecutors, Henry told detectives that Smith had a history of suicidal tendencies, had a gun, and was with their children in the bedroom.

Prosecutors say Henry told police that he and Smith fought over the gun and that’s when it went off, shooting her in the chest.

Investigators at the scene found inconsistencies in the story and later realized Smith couldn’t have shot herself.

Upon interviewing the couple’s children, investigators learned that Henry shot Smith.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office ruled Smith’s death homicide on March 17, 2021. Henry was arrested Nov. 22, 2021.

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