Ex-Cop Who Killed His Wife A Free Man After Only five-Years - My9 New Jersey

Ex-Cop Who Killed His Wife A Free Man After Only five-Years

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Millville, New Jersey (My9NJ) - In 2006 Former Millville Sergeant Robert Vanaman shot and killed his wife Barb, he then cut his own arms in an attempt to convince people that the shooting was self-defense. None of those facts are disputed and they were all admitted as part of a plea bargain and subsequent appeal which resulted in Vanaman’s 2009 sentencing of 6 years in prison for passion provocation manslaughter and tampering with evidence. Last week, after just five-years, he walked out of a halfway house a free man.

However, the family of Vanaman’s murdered wife says that he was treated differently because he was a former police officer and they feel that Barb’s life is basically being ignored.

“You go out and rob a bank and don’t kill anybody you’re gonna get more than five-years. You embezzle a company; you can go away for 30 years. So in other words, a human beings life is worth less than money? I just feel he needed to do more time for what he did,” Barb’s mother, Karin Shaffer said.

As Vanaman was released last week, social media exploded with questions about how someone could admit to killing their wife and serve only five-years in jail.

“From the beginning we had heard he could get up to 30 years and then a second meeting we had it suddenly dropped to 15 years and it wasn’t until the day that the plea bargain started to be put into place that we found out that our opinion basically didn’t really mean anything,” Barb’s father, John Shaffer said.

To make matters worse for the family, they still live in the same town as Robert Vanaman and said that they will regularly have to run into him. For them it’s a constant reminder of the fact that their loved one’s life was only worth five-years.

“Every time I see him, I will see my daughter lying on the floor dying, every time I see that man’s face,” Karin cried.

Both the judge and the prosecutor were contacted for a statement, but neither was immediately available for comment. However, previous published reports have the judge quoted as saying that this may have been a case where a plea bargain wasn’t helpful and the judge’s hands were tied by sentencing limits.


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