Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




John Dell CARR





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Serial rapist - Bites - Arson
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: October 6, 1990 / July 4, 1991
Date of birth: 1962
Victims profile: Shirley F. Sturgill, 42 (his mother-in-law) / Barbara Foote, 32
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Shelby/Hamilton Counties, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to 80 years in prison on May 29, 1992. Sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1997

JOHN DELL CARR, Appellant  v.  STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee

Indiana Supreme Court - Cause No. 73S00-9709-CR-487

April 18, 2000

BOEHM, Justice.

John Dell Carr was convicted of the murder of Shirley Sturgill and sentenced to sixty years imprisonment. In this direct appeal he contends that (1) his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated when he was anesthetized for the taking of dental impressions; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in denying his Motion for Change of Venue; (3) there is insufficient evidence to support his conviction and rebut his alibi defense; (4) the trial court committed fundamental error in instructing the jury on circumstantial evidence; (5) he is entitled to a new trial because of jury misconduct; and (6) his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Factual and Procedural Background

Firefighters were dispatched to the apartment of Shirley Sturgill in the late evening hours of October 6, 1990. Finding the door locked, they forced entry and extinguished a fire in Sturgill’s bedroom. Sturgill’s body was found naked on the bed. Both of her nipples had been bitten off and a toilet bowl brush protruded from her vagina. An autopsy was performed on the morning of October 8. The cause of death was ruled manual strangulation. The pathologist also observed bite marks on Sturgill’s right and left thigh, and Dr. Donnell Marlin, a forensic odontologist, examined, photographed, and made models of the bite marks.

The investigation soon focused on Orville Jack Dobkins, who lived in an adjacent apartment and had visited Sturgill at approximately 9:00 p.m. on the evening of the murder. On October 24, Dobkins was arrested and charged with Sturgill’s murder. The State also filed a request for the death penalty. Dobkins provided dental impressions which were compared to the bite marks on Sturgill’s body. Dr. Marlin issued a report on December 18, 1990, concluding that “within the bounds of a reasonable medical certainty, the teeth of Jack Dobkins match the various bite marks on the body of Shirley Sturgill.” On May 15, 1991, Dr. Mark Bernstein examined the work of Dr. Marlin. Dr. Bernstein concluded that the comparisons offered “good supporting evidence to implicate Mr. Dobkins but could not alone prove, to a degree of reasonable medical certainty, that Dobkins made the bites.” The State dismissed the charges against Dobkins on May 16, 1991.

At the time of Sturgill’s death, her daughter Angie Carr was married to Carr. By 1994 Angie and Carr had divorced and on August 3, 1994, Angie told Detective Bill Dwenger that Carr left their family’s trailer at about noon on October 6, 1990, and did not return until late that night. When he returned, Carr took off his clothes, put them in the washing machine, and showered. Carr and Angie went to bed about forty-five minutes later. After lying in bed for a few minutes, Carr rose, walked to a gun cabinet, took out a rifle, and pointed it at Angie’s head. Carr told Angie that he had “hurt” or “took care of” her mother. He said he would kill her and their daughters if she ever said anything. He then grabbed her by her hair, walked her to their daughters’ bedroom, pointed the gun at the girls, and reiterated that he meant what he had said.

In 1993 police had submitted cigarette butts found in Sturgill’s apartment to the FBI for DNA analysis. A 1995 report comparing DNA from saliva on one butt to Carr's concluded that the two matched at five loci. The probability of two unrelated Caucasians with this correlation was 1 in 4,500.

On February 16, 1996, a Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Carr for the murder of Sturgill and the arson of her apartment. The State later dismissed the arson count. After a ten-day trial in April of 1997, a jury convicted Carr of murder. Carr was sentenced to sixty years imprisonment....



MO: Killed mother-in-law and a female acquaintance.

DISPOSITION: 80 years on one count, 1992; 60 years concurrent on second count, 1997



home last updates contact