Man charged with murdering 17-year-old girl faces judge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man charged with murdering 17-year-old girl faces judge

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- As a 17year-old girl was being laid to rest Wednesday, we were learning new details about the sex offender charged with her murder.

49-year-old Richard Hooten faced a Clark County judge on Wednesday.

Court records say he confessed to raping and strangling Tara Willenborg at the Cambridge Square Apartments in Clarksville Saturday morning.

Some of the details are graphic, describing how Willenborg was raped and murdered. According to the documents, Richard Hooten told police asked Willenborg if he could come into her apartment to hang out, and then after about 5-10 minutes, he started forcing himself on her. He later says after noticing she wasn't breathing, he started CPR on the victim. According to the probable cause affidavit, once he realized she was dead, he grabbed a Subway apron and wrapped it around her neck to make it appear she had committed suicide.

Hooten was already a fugitive in Clark County, wanted for failing to register as a sex offender, after a rape conviction in 1993 and another sex abuse charge in 2009.

Neal Curran, Willenborg's uncle, said in a statement Wednesday, "Today we do not want to focus on the terrible way that Tara died but on the beautiful way she lived. She brought kindness, humor, and peace wherever she went."

The prosecution says they will decide in the next two weeks whether they will pursue the death penalty.

Richard Hooten left the courthouse on Wednesday asking the media to come to the jail to speak with him.

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