By Karen Hall
A Lewisburg man received the maximum sentence Monday for permanently disfiguring his former girlfriend by throwing boiling hot oil on her.
Ryan Haase, 35, formerly of David Avenue, had a jury trial in July and was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder for his attack on Lindsey Arp on April 11, 2011.
Haase repeatedly said he was sorry for what he had done, according to statements made to law enforcement and to Crystal Gray of the Department of Corrections, who prepared his pre-sentence report.
"I felt really bad" when I saw her in court, Haase told Gray. "I feel a lot of remorse."
Haase's true feelings were revealed, however, by what he said after the trial, while Corrections Officer David Smith was transporting him back to Lincoln County Jail.
She "got what she deserved," Haase told Smith, complaining that Arp had "played the part well" and got the jury's sympathy during the trial.
"I advised him he'd said enough when he made that statement," Smith said at the sentencing hearing. On the witness stand, Smith said Haase started talking to him every time every time they would drive back and forth to Lincoln County, but he did nothing to encourage him.
"I do not talk to my inmates because I do not want to end up where I am now (on the witness stand)," Smith said.
"There's not enough time in the world I can get the court to give this man for what he's done," said Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard. "I have never seen anything like it in my 37 years as a prosecutor. When we started working on this case I told (Assistant District Attorney) Mike Randles 'there's something worse than murder.' The law won't let you lock him up for life. We're asking for 40 years."
Defending Haase, appointed attorney Hershel Koger admitted, "The injuries to Miss Arp are phenomenal, you can't escape this. But who knew it (the hot oil) would do what it did? We would request a 25-year sentence."
"Words fail me," said Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler, after hearing the prosecution and defense arguments. "The maximum sentence is appropriate."
Haase was sentenced to 40 years in prison, the maximum possible for a Range II offender convicted of an A Felony. Haase has three felony convictions from his home state of Michigan, which put him in the Range II category.
Barnard reported Arp was asked what Haase's sentence should be, and her reply was, "The death penalty is not enough. He should serve a life sentence just like I'm going to have to serve." Arp has lost an eye and an ear, can't turn her head, and can't open her mouth enough to go to the dentist.
"I have a bear claw for a hand," she told Barnard. She's had 15 surgeries and eight procedures, and needs two more major surgeries. Arp has no insurance now, but she's found a doctor at Vanderbilt to take her as a charity case. She has received about $30,000 in victim's compensation money, but is using that to take care of her children.