October 3, 1985
Indianapolis, Indiana
Darlene Hendrick (20) is sexually assaulted repeatedly and stabbed to death

WARNING: This story contains details which may be considered graphic. Discretion is advised.

At approximately 1:10 a.m., Indianapolis police received a call from Charles Evans (26), stating he was afraid he had killed a woman. Police met up with Evans and drove with him in their patrol car until they arrived at the body’s location. In a parking lot, police found the partially-clad body of Darlene Hendrick. Her hair had been cut and makeup applied after she was killed. Evans was promptly arrested.

According to a taped confession by Evans, he had met Hendrick on the evening of October 2 as she waited at a bus stop. Evans then asked to wait with Hendrick, because, “I didn’t want nothing to happen to her because of all the — since being all the weird things going on, weird people going on, hurting people and killing people and stuff, all over happening, it’s happening lately.” After some time, Hendrick accompanied Evans to a liquor store where he purchased whiskey, then the pair went to an abandoned building. Hendrick announced she needed to use the restroom, at which point Evans crept up behind her and brought a knife against her throat. He then raped Hendrick at knifepoint.

Hendrick and Evans left the area to allow Evans to buy more liquor before they both returned to the abandoned building and Evans once again raped Hendrick, who attempted to convince Evans to put the knife away. He refused. “And then all at once it seemed that I put the knife on her and I kind of tapped her a little bit,” Evans stated during the taped confession. “And she said … ‘Don’t do that.’ It seemed like I had stabbed her just a little bit, or just punctured her a little bit. And when I realized that I stabbed her right in the back. I didn’t think I could do that … and that’s what killed her — when I stabbed her right through the back. I was saying, ‘Oh my God!’ I said, ‘Darlene, don’t die.’ I tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but she was turning pale.”

Evans continued his confession by saying he tried to kiss Hendrick after attempting to resuscitate her, then attempted to rape her again. “So, somehow or other in between those periods, I just went to stabbing her body constantly. It was out of anger and just upset that I had killed her. Every time I stabbed her I squeezed her body where the stab wound was. I pushed my hand inside a stab wound. I just couldn’t believe this.”

Hendrick’s postmortem examination revealed she had been stabbed 45 times with an 8-inch (20-cm) butcher knife; ten of the wounds were inflicted while she was still alive. The wounds were predominantly localized to Hendrick’s back, abdomen, and chest, though she also had stabbing wounds to her heart, liver, spine, bowel, and the inside of her vagina.

Evans’ defense relied upon an insanity plea. Evidence of Evans’ mental illness, dating back to his childhood, was demonstrated in court. As an infant, Evans had required a small operation to correct an issue with his testicles, an operation his father refused to allow. The operation was performed later when Evans was in his teens, after his father had passed away, and resulted in humiliation amongst his peers. It was also noted Evans had a criminal history of sexual assault, including the attempted molestation with the intent to rape an 11-year-old girl. When Evans was caught by the girl’s mother, he waited for police to arrive in the girl’s home, crying. He later performed self-harm while in jail to atone for his crime.

The judge ruled Evans was mentally fit to stand trial, and noted a possible defense of diminished responsibility due to alcohol intoxication was not valid in Evans’ case. Evans was convicted of one count each of criminal confinement and murder, as well as two counts of rape.

During the sentencing portion of his trail, Evans’ attorney, Alex A. Voils Jr., addressed the jury: “[Evans] knows he’s done wrong and deserves to be punished,” adding quietly, “but to die?” Prosecutor Stephen Goldsmith stated, “This is no crime of passion. This is no crime where a man who is in bed with someone’s wife is shot by a husband. This is no homeowner defending his residence. This is a murder by someone who intended to hurt, and he killed and he raped.”

Evans was sentenced to death in 1986, condemned to die in the electric chair.

However, in 1992, Evans’ sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on the basis of his childhood neglect. His sentences for rape, confinement, and murder are to run consecutively and his projected release date is 2089 when Evans is 133 years old.

Sources:
Charles G Evans. DOC Number: 865019. Indiana Department of Correction. Accessed: October 3, 2020. https://www.in.gov/apps/indcorrection/ofs/ofs?previous_page=1&detail=865019
“Death reprieve based on history of neglect.” Journal and Courier [Lafayette, Indiana]. September 9, 1992
Evans v. State. 598 N.E.2d 516 (1992). Charles EVANS, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee. No. 49S00-8704-CR-453. Supreme Court of Indiana. September 8, 1992. Rehearing Denied November 4, 1992 (archived: https://law.justia.com/cases/indiana/supreme-court/1992/49s00-8704-cr-453-4.html)
Bird, Paul. “Taped confession details rape and stabbing death.” The Indianapolis News. August 22, 1986
Gelarden, R. Joseph. “Jury votes death penalty for Evans.” The Indianapolis Star. August 26, 1986
“City man held in slaying, rape of Westside woman.” The Indianapolis News. October 3, 1985

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