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Judge: Man guilty of killing wife in coffee pot dispute

Larry Lotz will be in the Lake County Jail until a sentencing hearing Oct. 4. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, with probation as an option.

Larry Lotz
DailyHerald.com photo

A Lake County judge ruled Wednesday that the 69-year-old Barrington man who shot at his wife four times during a dispute that began over a coffee pot is guilty of second-degree murder.

Judge Daniel Shanes dismissed testimony that Larry Lotz was in a dissociative state in 2016 when he fired his .45-caliber revolver and killed his wife, Karen.

”He made a series of deliberate, conscious acts,” Shanes said, noting how Larry Lotz needed to pull back the hammer on the gun between each shot. “Conscious acts fueled by alcohol and anger, but nonetheless deliberate ones.”

After Shanes made his ruling, he revoked Lotz’s bond. Lotz will be in the Lake County Jail until a sentencing hearing Oct. 4. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, with probation an option.

Shanes said the argument that led to the Jan. 14, 2016, shooting began when Karen Lotz confronted her husband because he’d left a coffee pot on all day. The dispute became physical when Larry tried to retreat and Karen Lotz grabbed him. Larry took the coffee pot outside and smashed, then retreated to a second-floor room in the garage he called his “man cave.”

When Karen climbed the stairs to the room, something she hardly ever did, Larry shot her four times.

”This case started over what most married couples would call a stupid argument,” Shanes said. “The argument should have stopped, but tragically it did not.”

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