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Indiana teenager gets 62 years in Portage man’s killing

Thomas Reichler. | Porter County, Ind., sheriff's office

VALPARAISO, Ind. — A northern Indiana teenager convicted of fatally shooting a man in front of his wife and children has been sentenced to 62 years in prison.

A Porter County, Indiana, judge cited 19-year-old Thomas Reichler’s lengthy criminal history before sentencing him Friday in the December 2014 killing of 36-year-old Alexius Tapia.

The judge noted that Reichler’s criminal history started with an arrest at 11 for arson and burglary.

A jury convicted Reichler of murder in August in Tapia’s killing after the man caught Reichler and the others stealing from his vehicles. His wife and children witnessed the shooting outside their Portage home.

Shortly before he was sentenced, Reichler told the court, “I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.”