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Man Gets Life Sentence for Murder in Chipley Motel Fire

5/16/2002

CHIPLEY - Florida Treasurer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher has announced that a Washington County man who admitted to state arson investigators that he set his wife's motel room on fire to cover up her stabbing death pleaded guilty today to first-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Carlton Lewis Hammack, 37, was sentenced to life without parole for the murder plea and 30 years, to be served consecutively, on the arson plea stemming from the death of his ex-wife Mary Trammell Mills, 38. Mills' body was found in a room of a Chipley motel after the Chipley police and fire departments were called to a fire there on the evening of Sept. 30. Hammack made his first admission during an interview with investigators from the Division of State Fire Marshal's Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations on Nov. 30.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Washington County Sheriff's Department assisted with the investigation.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. To report a suspicious fire, call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON). Information also may be mailed to Arson Control, P.O. Box 1654, Winter Park, FL.