AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Central Texas prosecutors knew nothing of a 2004 attack on an Indiana woman when it offered a lighter sentence in a 2009 sexual assault case to a man now suspected of several killings, their district attorney said Monday.
In a statement Monday, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said she offered Darren Vann a plea deal of five years' imprisonment in the 2009 case because it was weakened by the victim's delayed outcry, a resulting loss of DNA evidence and her inconsistent statements. The original charge could have meant up to 99 years in prison.
Lehmberg said Vann's criminal history then "revealed no prior history of sexual assault and no prior convictions." Lehmberg spokesman Rudy Magallanes said the 2004 case didn't appear in Vann's criminal history.
Police in Indiana say Vann has confessed to killing seven women.