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Life sentence upheld in ’06 triple slayings

– An Indiana man spending his life in prison for the 2006 slayings of a woman and her two daughters has lost his bid for a new trial.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Daniel Ray Wilkes’ sentence of life without parole. Wilkes originally was sentenced to death, but a judge in 2011 reduced that sentence, citing a change in state law.

Wilkes was convicted in the April 2006 deaths of 38-year-old Donna Claspell and her daughters, 13-year-old Avery Pike and 8-year-old Sydne Claspell.

The Vincennes man said he was high on methamphetamine and had been awake for a week before he killed the three in their Evansville home. Court documents say Wilkes had been staying there after spending time in an addiction recovery program with Claspell.

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