Josh Caspari pleaded guilty to capital murder on Thursday.
Josh Caspari pleaded guilty to capital murder on Thursday.

Caspari pleads guilty to murder, faces life without parole

Published 10:54am Thursday, October 10, 2013

For 19 months Paula Cardwell never missed a single court date.

She sat directly in the middle of the first bench in the courtroom with family and friends surrounding her as she wore a zebra ribbon with a button showing a photo of her daughter, Anna Cardwell.

Thursday morning 19th Judicial Circuit Randall Houston told Paula, her family members and friends they likely will never have to be in a courtroom again.

Joshua Caspari pleaded guilty to the Feb. 15, 2012, capital murder of 20-year-old Anna Cardwell in the Flatwood community.

As per the plea agreement, Caspari was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“Not only I have lost my daughter and best friend, but I’ve lost a part of my life,” Paula Cardwell said before Circuit Court Judge Ben Fuller sentenced Caspari. “…There will never be any happy holidays anymore, and there will always be an empty seat at the table for her.”

Caspari, 23, of Tallassee came to the Cardwell’s home the morning of Feb. 15, 2012, to talk to Anna about his failed relationship with a friend of Anna’s, according to investigators with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Department.

Caspari and Cardwell then got into a verbal argument, and Caspari shot Cardwell at least four times, including once in the back of her head in the kitchen.

“Josh deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison because my family was given a life sentence of a living hell because of what you did,” Paula Cardwell said.

In delivering the sentence, Fuller offered his deepest condolences to Paula Cardwell and the family.

“The limits of my vocabulary do not allow me to express my sorrow,” Fuller said while trying to choke back his own tears. “I am truly deeply sorry for your loss.”

Members of the family nor members of the district attorney’s office were allowed to comment further about the case, because of the gag order Fuller imposed earlier this year.

The charges Caspari faced regarding the burglary and theft of property in separate cases were dropped in accordance with the plea agreement.

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