Inmate who confessed sentenced to 63 years in slaying

By The Associated Press

NEW CASTLE — A prison inmate who confessed in 2017 to a slaying years earlier in eastern Indiana has been sentenced to 63 years in prison.

The (Muncie) Star Press reports 52-year-old Dana R. Zirkel was given his punishment Thursday after pleading guilty to murder in August. He was charged in April in connection with the August 2008 crowbar-bludgeoning death of 49-year-old Michael Patterson of Middletown during a burglary.

Zirkel told the court he was “strung out on drugs” at the time. He apologized, saying: “I really deserve the electric chair or lethal injection.”

Patterson’s widow, Macarena, recalled the victim as “a wonderful husband to me and an exceptional father to his two children.”

Zirkel, who formerly lived in Daleville, was incarcerated for burglary convictions in 2009 and 2010 when he confessed to a Henry County sheriff’s detective.

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