FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A Mississippi man has been sentenced in the fatal strangulation of a Fort Wayne woman he met at a bar in 2018.
Cordell D. Patterson, Jr., of Jackson, Mississippi, was sentenced to 62 years for murder and robbery related to the November 2018 death of 33-year-old Laura Elizabeth Larkin inside her Cass Street home.
Patterson was found guilty after a jury trial in April.
It was Nov. 26 when Larkin’s body was found at the top of a staircase by a friend who said she was checking on her. An autopsy showed she had been strangled to death, and her death was ruled a homicide.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Patterson met Larkin and another woman at The Pantry on North Wells Street the night of Nov. 25. Patterson and Larkin eventually left the bar together, with Patterson having pledged to have sex with her, the affidavit said.
A witness told police he saw Patterson the next day and he was “acting strange,” and said he took Larkin’s Mercedes and left it somewhere. The man said Patterson then admitted, “I think I killed that b—-,” according to the affidavit.
The man said Patterson told him he had sex with Larkin then tried to rob her, but “she was was not trying to let him rob her,” so he put a rope around her neck and strangled her, according to the affidavit. Patterson told the man Larkin then fell down the stairs, but he picked her up and laid her in bed, the affidavit said.
Patterson told the man that Larkin was “not really breathing” when he left the home with her car and credit cards. He said he used a credit card at a gas station to get $20, parked the car near Lillie Street then threw away the car’s keys and Larkin’s cards at an Anthony Boulevard home, the affidavit said.
Police found the Mercedes on Nov. 27.
Patterson was identified out of a photo array by three witnesses, the affidavit said.
Patterson was arrested in Oxford, Mississippi on in December 2018 by federal law enforcement.