Convicted murderer seeks early release


DOVER — A judge is weighing a Delaware Department of Correction sentence modification recommendation for a 58-year-old woman convicted of shooting her boyfriend to death.

While prosecution and defense attorneys agreed that Superior Court has jurisdiction to determine the fate of Catherine Culp at a Tuesday afternoon hearing, Judge Noel Primos asked them for written submissions related to the Court’s discretion.

A written decision will be issued, the judge said.

Culp is currently scheduled for release on a second-degree murder conviction in March 2019.

Delaware Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kelleher expressed belief that term should be enforced until its conclusion.

Catherine Culp

Arguing for an earlier release, attorney William Deely pointed to what he described as “extraordinary circumstances” that warranted Culp’s freedom. An exemplary record of conduct and rehabilitation efforts have earned the release, Mr. Deely maintained, along with Culp’s lack of a threat to society if set free.

“Ms. Culp has done more than any client (toward rehabilitation) than any client I’ve ever had or seen,” Mr. Deely said.

During nine months of freedom on probation in Florida before a Supreme Court ruling put Culp back in prison, the convict got a job, re-connected with family, joined a church, bought a car and committed no probation violations, according to the defense attorney.

Now-retired Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young, who freed Culp on probation in 2016, attended Tuesday’s session.

The Supreme Court later ruled the judge could not consider the defendant’s motion for a sentence reduction. Culp was also denied 12 years earlier.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at

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