Murderer behind Heather’s Law found guilty

Heather’s Law amended the marital privilege statute to compel a defendant’s spouse to testify by providing an exception to the privilege if one spouse voluntarily provides police with information about the other spouse’s involvement in a serious crime. The murderer behind Heather’s Law, Larry Lloyd Carver has been found guilty by a Maricopa County Jury this week on multiple counts in connection with the 2006 murder of Heather M. Quan and the attempted murder of her boyfriend, Ryan T. Waller.

Carver faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced by Judge Susanna Pineda on January 25, 2013. Carver’s son and accomplice in the crimes, Richie Lee Carver, was previously convicted and sentenced in 2008 to natural life in prison.

“This verdict is a long awaited milestone on what has been a tortuous and difficult road to justice for the victims of this terrible crime, requiring an extraordinary detour through our state legislature,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “We now await the imposition of a sentence that will appropriately hold this defendant accountable for his criminal actions,” he added.

On December 23, 2006, Larry Carver and his son, Richie, went to Ryan Waller’s house seeking revenge for a presumed altercation. While the Carvers attempted to force their way through the doorway of the residence, Richie Carver put his arm inside and shot Mr. Waller in the head, leaving him for dead. The Carvers then entered the residence and shot and killed Heather Quan, apparently because she was a witness. They also stole several weapons and a computer from the scene.

When officers from the Phoenix Police Department arrived, they found Waller still conscious. He was able to identify the assailants and was taken to the hospital, where he had part of his brain removed and lost his left eye as a result of the gunshot wound. Detectives later learned that Richie Carver was a former roommate of Waller’s.

Richie Carver was convicted in June, 2008 of Felony Murder, Burglary, Aggravated Assault and Misconduct Involving Weapons and sentenced to a term of natural life. The case against Larry Carver was based in part on confessions he made to his wife and was ultimately dismissed after she invoked her marital privilege and refused to testify against her husband.

The family of Heather Quan then appealed to the legislature to enact what became known as Heather’s Law. After a legal battle over whether the law could apply retroactively to Larry Carver’s case, the Court ruled in favor of the State and Carver was reindicted in November, 2011 on First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Burglary and Aggravated Assault. Following a ten day trial, the jury deliberated for two-and-a-half days before reaching a verdict of guilty on all counts.

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