Columbia City woman sentenced to 60 years for 2017 murder

By Joseph Slacian

A Columbia City woman was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the May 2017 murder of her ex-husband in North Manchester.

The woman, Tiffany Chapman-Lane, 34, also received 40 years for the shooting of a North Manchester woman at the same time.

Chapman-Lane had been charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and carrying a handgun without a license. After initially pleading not guilty, she changed her plea and, in a plea agreement, agreed to plead guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges.

Wabash Circuit Court Judge Robert McCallen III accepted the pleas and imposed the sentence on Monday afternoon, Jan. 7. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Under the agreement, Chapman-Lane can seek sentence modification after the equivalent of 45 years served.

On May 25, 2017 Chapman-Lane shot and killed her ex-husband, Jacob Chapman, and wounded his current wife, Sarah Chapman, in their North Manchester driveway.

During a 45-minute emotional hearing, McCallen heard from members of Mr. Chapman’s family, including his wife and three daughters.

“No explanation or excuse will every justify that you have taken my husband, you have taken a father, you have taken a son, you have taken a brother, you have taken a friend, you have taken a friend,” Mrs. Chapman said, speaking to Chapman-Lane.

She later added, “I feel you should never be released. You’re a danger to the community and everybody. … Heaven doesn’t have visiting hours. Why should you?”

Chapman’s mother, Susan Roesner, also addressed the court, displaying a photograph of her late son for the judge to see.
“When you murdered Jacob,” she told Chapman-Lane, “I could not imagine how the pain could recede enough to go on living.”

She told the court that Chapman-Lane also told horror stories to the couple’s children about their father.

“We’re now creating the right perspective of family,” Roesner said. “The truth always wins.”

Roesner said she’s been asked if she could ever forgive Chapman-Lane for her actions.

“You have never asked to be forgiven,” she said. “You have a heart problem; it’s the hate. Only God can change that.”’
Chapman-Lane addressed the court prior to sentencing, noting “I’ve anticipated this day since the day I committed the offense.”

“I am guilty of the offense,” she continued. “I am sorry for what occurred, for I know others were harmed.”

She said she is taking programs in jail to try to better herself and hopes to continue such programs in the Indiana Department of Corrections.

“The path I’m on today is not the one I envisioned for myself,” she said.

McCallen, after pronouncing sentence, said he wasn’t “sure of her acceptance of responsibility. But that doesn’t matter as I have accepted the agreement.”

He did tell family members that “there’s nothing I could say. I wish there was, but I can’t wave a magic wand.”

McCallen was asked by Chapman-Lane’s lawyer Kathi Perry, Franklin, to delay transfer to the DOC until after a Jan. 18 civil hearing involving her client’s request to seek a name change.

Perry said she realizes the jail is facing an overcrowding issue and sought an order from the judge to keep her client here.
McCallen declined to rule on the measure, saying he would leave that decision up to those at the jail who know the situation better than he.

Posted on 2019 Jan 08