A look back at the 1995 Liane Page murder case in light of state settlement

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She just had her whole life ahead of her.

Bob Wright, former Vigo Co. prosecutor

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Liane Page was just 24 when her life was taken from her in May 1995 by her ex-boyfriend Jay Vermillion.

“She just had her whole life ahead of her, and only because of his mindset that, you know, if she wasn’t willing to be with him, then she wasn’t gonna be with anybody,” said former Vigo Co. Prosecutor Bob Wright.

Now, the Indiana Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with Vermillion of $425,000 after Vermillion reportedly spent four years in solitary confinement at Westville Correctional Facility.

“Whatever happened to him, I have zero sympathy for him,” said Wright, who was reached by phone earlier this week.

Wright, who tried Vermillion’s case, spoke with WTWO about Page’s murder in reaction to the news of Vermillion’s settlement.

1995: Liane Page murdered by Jay Vermillion

Page and Vermillion had been broken up for some time prior to her murder, according to Wright. In that time, Page had filed a protective order against Vermillion and had begun dating another man.

On May 19, 1995, Wright says Page called 911 after Vermillion broke into the home she was at alone on Paint Mill Lake and came after her with a sawed-off shotgun.

“As she was concluding the call, a gun went off, which eventually we knew took her life,” said Wright.

Sullivan Co. Sheriff Clark Cottom, who was a deputy with Vigo County at the time of Page’s murder, recalls in detail the rest of that night as law enforcement learned Vermillion had stolen Page’s car and proceeded to search for him.

“That initial 24 hours that we were looking for him, it was quite tense. I know that there were other family members that were concerned that we may try to find them, come to them,and it was a real tense time,” said Cottom.

Cottom was placed on guard of the Page household in an effort to keep the family safe.

“It was just a terrible, terrible night, and add on top of that, every sound that we heard outside, every car that drove by; ‘Is that him? Is that him?” Cottom recalled.

“To see her family and see them suffering like that, those things stick with you,” he said.

1997: Jay Vermillion convicted in case of Liane Page’s murder

Vermillion was eventually caught by officials, tried, and convicted in 1997. During the trial, Vermillion attempted to defend himself, but Wright recalls that after listening to Page’s 911 call, the jury was out for a very short time before deciding to convict.

Both Wright and Cottom say Vermillion showed himself to be very manipulative during the entire process.

Jay Vermillion is escorted to the Vigo County Jail during his trial.

“If memory serves me correctly, he had actually drawn up escape plans from the courtroom; that was part of enhanced courtroom security and he had talked about going to escape the first opportunity that he had,” Cottom said.

“He was cocky, arrogant; it appeared he had no remorse,” said Wright.

Vermillion was sentenced to 85 years in prison.

2019: Officials react to state settlement

When asked about the settlement Vermillion will recieve, Wright said no treatment Vermillion may have suffered will ever amount to the pain he brought on Page and her loved ones.

Cottom said that upon seeing Vermillion’s name in relation to news of the settlement, he felt “no satisfactory feelings” but remembered the tragedy of Page’s death and the heartbreak her family still faces.

Cottom adds that the person who should be remembered in all of this is the beautiful young woman who never deserved the ending she received.

“We need not forget her and her family,” he said.

***

Vermillion is currently detained in the Pendleton Correctional Facility. His release date from prison is scheduled for November 2036.

Page is remembered through her loved ones and a memorial scholarship fund for Terre Haute North graduates.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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