Karen Barrett

Evansville Man Confesses To Killing Girlfriend

September 24, 2004

UPDATE, MON 10:23 AM: James Hape of Evansville is scheduled for an arraignment hearing at 1:00 p.m. in Posey County Circuit Court.

Hape has confessed to fatally shooting his girlfriend Karen Barrett, and leaving her body in the garage of her Posey County home.

UPDATE, SUN 9:50 PM: The Posey County Lead Detective Sergeant Dan Gaffney has informed Newswatch that after three hours of interrogation, James Hape has confessed to the murder of Karen Barrett.

They have also located the murder weapon. They found the pistol after searching through Hape's truck.

Hape is expected to be arraigned Monday in Posey County Court.

Police say that Hape's demeanor is calm and he is acting as if nothing happened.

UPDATE, SUN 5:15 PM: The suspect in this weekend's murder is in police custody. Police located James Hape in Fort Branch and he is being transported to Posey County Jail.

UPDATE, SUN 4:30 PM: Posey County police have named a prime suspect in this weekend's domestic homicide.

Police released a picture of James Hape, who is still on the loose Sunday evening.

Investigators say he allegedly murdered his live-in girlfriend Karen Barrett. Barrett was found in her garage, shot to death.

Police said that a motorist drove past on Friday and saw the open garage with Barrett's murdered body lying inside.

Police told Newswatch that Hape and Barrett were dating for only a year, and have had approximately six different domestic violence incidents within the past few months.

Investigators say Barrett's father has been concerned for his daughter's safety.

They said, "He was adamant about this was coming. This was going to happen ecetera ... Apparently Mr. Hape was known to be an extremely jealous individual and had a volatile personality."

Police believe Hape is driving a red 2004 Chevy pick-up. If you see Hape or the car, call Posey County Police or Indiana State Police.

EARLIER: The Posey County Sheriff's Office is investigating a homicide.

It happened Friday night just before 9pm in Wadesville, Indiana.

Emergency personnel responded to 8981 Winery Road, where they found 39-year-old Karen Barrett lying on the garage floor.

She had been shot multiple times in her upper torso and head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Barrett's boyfriend, 42-year old James Hape of Evansville. The Posey County Sheriff's Department has identified Hape as the lead suspect in the murder of Karen Barrett.

Police are searching for Hape. They believe he's driving a red, 2004 Chevy pickup extended cab or a purple 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

If you have any information about James Hape's whereabouts, you should call the Posey County Sheriff's Office or Indiana State Police.


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