Caspari enters guilty plea in Cardwell murder case - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Caspari enters guilty plea in Cardwell murder case

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Josh Caspari Josh Caspari
Anna Cardwell Anna Cardwell
Cardwell's home where the homicide took place. Cardwell's home where the homicide took place.
Paula Cardwell looks at a photo of her daughter during an interview with WSFA 12 News Paula Cardwell looks at a photo of her daughter during an interview with WSFA 12 News
WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) -

The suspect in a brutal Elmore County homicide pleaded guilty to capital murder just weeks before he was set to go to trial. Josh Caspari entered his plea before a judge Thursday morning and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Caspari, who was set to go to trial on Oct. 28, was accused of shooting to death 20-year-old Wetumpka resident Anna Cardwell at the home she shared with her parents in February 2012.

Caspari confessed to Cardwell's murder after his arrest but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in August 2012. A gag order remains in place pending an appeal and officials can't discuss the case.

Anna Cardwell's parents, Paula and Joe Cardwell, chose to stay in their home near Wetumpka instead of moving after their daughter was shot to death near the kitchen.

"This is family land and we want to be here. We'll need to make new memories here," Paula Cardwell said.

In fact, Paula Cardwell has left her daughter's bedroom the way it was the day she died for the most part. Anna Cardwell died four months before her 21st birthday.

"It gives me a lot of comfort," said Cardwell.

This interview with Paula Cardwell came just hours after Josh Caspari changed his mind and pleaded guilty to capital murder.

"I think he was uncomfortable with the trial coming up," said Cardwell.

Paula Cardwell says she hasn't been able to forgive and let go yet.

"As a Christian, I know I need to forgive but I am working on that," she said.

The family describes Anna Cardwell as someone who was happy and funny.

Paula Cardwell works at Lake Pharmacy in Holtville. She recalled one day when Anna came in and noticed the staff was not having a good day. Anna promptly took a marker and scribbled 'it's 5 o clock somewhere' on the window.

"Anna lit up the room and breathed life into this home and wherever she went," her mother said.

Investigators say Caspari murdered Anna Cardwell in her own home because Anna was trying to convince a friend not to date him.

"I don't know what the truth is. He knows, but we may never know," said Cardwell.

Cardwell addressed Caspari in court for the first time before he was sentenced. She told him he had "caused a great deal of pain and changed many lives." Caspari never said a word and just kept looking down.

Caspari will be transferred to a state prison within 30 days.

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