Convicted Woman Returns to Prison after Supreme Court Reverses Release

Delaware native Catherine Culp was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 1998 killing. In 2016, a judge ordered her release before the completion of her sentence. But her freedom was shortlived. The Delaware Supreme Court has changed the previous sentence which sees Culp back in prison. Read all about Catherine Culp’s case here.

Killer Returned to Prison

Catherine Culp was accused of killing her boyfriend, 69-year-old Lee B. Hicks, on July 28, 1998. According to court documents, the couple attended a family barbecue where an argument broke out between the two. The argument continued at Hicks’ home in Felton.

Around one a.m., a hysterical Culp frantically banged on the neighbor’s door and told them to call 911. Culp spoke to the dispatcher saying, “He told me to give him his gun, and I gave it to him. And the gun went off and it shot him in the back.”

She was convicted of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in 1999. She was sentenced to life in prison.

She later stood for retrial and was convicted of second-degree murder. She was re-sentenced to 25 years in prison.

While serving her sentence, Culp appealed for a reduction in her sentence. A Superior Court judge granted her request. The sentence change was on the basis of Culp’s remorse and rehabilitation during her time behind bars.

She was released in 2016 for demonstrating model conduct in prison. She reportedly moved to Florida upon her release.

However, the Delaware Supreme Court found it wrong that the judge cut her sentence short. Prosecutors argued that the lower court judge was barred from considering Culp’s second motion for reduction in her sentence, 12 years after a similar motion was denied.

The Supreme Court reversed the ruling and ordered that Culp serve the remainder of her sentence. Following the reversal, Culp is reportedly back in prison.

57-year-old Culp requested a hearing, which has been scheduled for February 13.


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