Sep. 21—GOSHEN — An Elkhart teen has been charged in an attempted murder.
Antwoine Thomas, Jr., 16, had a bond hearing Thursday for a Washington Gardens shooting May 3.
Police responded to the call at 5:48 p.m., but upon arrival found that victim had already arrived at the emergency room, brought there by Joshua Knapp and Robert Walton.
Police believe that Thomas and an unknown other person staked out the apartment where Mario Hicks lived in the 1300 block of Delaware Street and when Knapp, Walton, and Hicks left in Knapp's car. Hicks, in the back seat, was shot. Hicks was hospitalized for several days, had brain swelling and needed brain surgery to remove the bullet.
Thomas was charged with the attempted murder based on video surveillance, Facebook corresponds, and confirmation from Elkhart High School's resource officer Jason Tripp. Officers said they were familiar with Thomas because they recently finished an investigation into Thomas' involvement in a separate shooting.
On Thursday, the court held a pretrial conference and a bond hearing for Thomas where his bond was denied. His jury trial is scheduled for May 6.
ALBERTO AVELINO ALVAREZ
A man accused of murder was denied a continuance of his trial during Thursday court proceedings.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Alberto Avelino Alvarez's girlfriend called and informed police at 9:55 a.m. April 28, 2022 that her boyfriend had shot someone outside 1610 Stevens Ave.
When police arrived, they found a juvenile man, identified as X. H., deceased. Alvarez's girlfriend also indicated that her boyfriend was a drug dealer and that he'd gone outside to take the trash out and when he got back inside he was talking to someone, the affidavit reads. Shortly after, she heard gunfire. She looked in the backyard and found a man she didn't know army crawling away from the home.
Upon questioning by investigators at South Bend Memorial Hospital, Alvarez confirmed that he received a call from a man he didn't know, who attempted to buy marijuana from him, according to the affidavit. When X. H. arrived, he came into the house, but Alvarez said X. H. took his one gram of marijuana and shot him so he grabbed his own gun and began shooting at the juvenile, emptying the magazine, reloading, and beginning fire again, the affidavit reads. Alvarez claimed in court documents that the man had fallen just outside the back door, and that he was reaching for another gun on the ground. He stated he told the man not to reach for the gun, but he continued, so Alvarez shot him again, according to the affidavit.
Alvarez also explained to police that he armed himself with his own gun because he felt the man was "sketchy" and it was going to be a cash deal, the affidavit reads.
His trial, which had been rescheduled a few times prior, remains scheduled for Oct. 16.
A man accused of murdering his wife had a pretrial status conference Thursday. Matthew Thompson, 36, is believed responsible for the death of his 27-year-old Ciarra Thompson Aug. 18.
Police were called to 1426 Cone St., Elkhart, at 7:16 p.m. Aug. 19, for a report that Thompson's wife was unconscious, not breathing, and bloodied. According to court documents, Thompson reported that he'd found Ciarra on the kitchen floor and she would not wake up.
Ciarra was already deceased when officers arrived on scene, and Elkhart County Homicide Unit was called in. In the charging affidavit, officers stated they found blood throughout the living room and kitchen of the home, with a large amount saturating the living room couch, and noted that some of it had been cleaned up. Detectives also noted that Ciarra had open wounds on her head and neck.
Speaking to detectives, Thompson admitted that he'd cleaned up some of the blood, but initially denied causing harm to Ciarra, the affidavit reads. He did eventually admit, according to investigators, that Friday, Aug. 18 he'd punched Ciarra numerous times on her head and shook her. After his last punch, the affidavit reads, Ciarra struck her head on the kitchen counter before falling down on the kitchen floor. Thompson told police that Ciarra had been in the same place she'd fallen when he called police.
A trial status conference remains scheduled for April 11, with a trial date of May 6.
JUAN CAMACHO GALLARDO
A man is facing felony charges for his part in a crash resulting in serious bodily injury dating back to Sept. 24, 2022. A trial status conference took place Thursday for the case.
Juan Camacho Gallardo is charged with several counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated via alcohol and marijuana. On that day, Elkhart police responded to a serious injury crash at the intersection of Bristol Street and C.R. 7.
Police said at the scene, they were unable to perform Standard Field Sobriety Tests due to a potential injury, along with Camacho's overall uncooperative behavior. Camacho was ultimately transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment, where he told medics he'd had four or five drinks prior to the crash, and an officer that escorted Camacho to the hospital said he continued to exhibit signs of uncooperative, belligerent behavior, threatening to kill himself and hospital staff, running into a door, and urinating in the corner of the hospital room.
Camacho did consent to a blood draw at the hospital, with results indicating a BAC of .342. A toxicology report found that at the time of the crash, Camacho's BAC would have been .279, and also presented THC in his blood.
The other driver was identified as Benjamin Battle.
The trial is scheduled for Feb. 19.
A burglary suspect, Jack Byrer, 32, entered a plea agreement that Elkhart County Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno said he couldn't accept because it had terms.
Byrer was arrested in February for a burglary that took place Aug. 9, 2022. His initial hearing wasn't until early September. As a result, Byrer had filed, without an attorney, a motion for speedy trial. Byrer explained to the judge that he requested a speedy trial because he is currently incarcerated at Westville Correctional Facility with multiple charges out of multiple counties, and he was told that the best option to get in front of the judge was to file it.
According to the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office, a woman contacted them Aug. 22, 2022, to report items taken from her personal storage unit at 68247 Ind. 15. Surveillance footage from New Paris Storage for Aug. 9 showed a man driving a U-Haul pick-up truck driving from the storage unit with multiple items in the bed of the truck.
A detective met with Byrer at Kosciusko County Jail, where he asked for a lawyer and allegedly acknowledged renting the truck and taking the items because he was high.
To accommodate the motion for a speedy trial, Byrer's trial remained set for Oct. 2, but his trial status conference scheduled for Thursday was reset, with hopes that the plea agreement will be revised soon.
A man who allegedly attacked his uncle and accused him of sleeping with his mother was in court Thursday morning on charges of burglary resulting in bodily injury, intimidation, criminal mischief and domestic battery.
According to a probable cause affidavit, officers were dispatched to 23455 for a burglary in progress. The caller advised that her cousin Doug Streetman, 36, had entered his uncle David Streetman's home at 23455 Farmington Ave. by breaking the window and that the was drunk. David told police upon arrival that he'd been punched in the face several times, the affidavit reads, and that his nephew Doug had accused him of sleeping with Doug's mother, and threatened to kill him, leaving the property in a car that was registered to someone else. Due to injuries including blood on his face and a bruised jaw, it was presumed that Streetman entered the home through the broken window, the affidavit reads.
The vehicle was located at 59724 C.R. 113 still running. Officers were advised that Streetman was there and permitted inside. Streetman was then arrested.
Streetman's jury trial is was rescheduled from Oct. 2 to June 3, with further proceedings scheduled for Oct. 19 and hopes of a resolution.
EDUARDO RUEDA, Jr. and JONATHAN J. MARTINEZ
Two Elkhart teens had their jury trials rescheduled Thursday.
Eduardo Rueda and Johnathan Martinez are accused of a Feb. 2 armed robbery in Twin Pines Mobile Home Park in Goshen. According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim, also 16, had made an Instagram post selling a PlayStation 5, which Rueda responded to with interest in the purchase.
Rueda allegedly went to the teen's home and the two of them were outside discussing the transaction when a white Chevrolet Silverado with no license plate pulled up and a man in a ski mask exited the vehicle and pointed a gun at him and took the PlayStation. The white truck was later linked to Martinez.
Investigators found surveillance footage that led them to believe that Rueda and Martinez had met earlier in the afternoon at Martin's Supermarket, 3800 Mishawaka Road, and found evidence of communications between the two via SnapChat as they drove in their separate vehicles from Martin's to Twin Pines, and a SnapChat image to a group chat including Rueda of a PlayStation and gun in the Martinez' passengers' seat and announcing to the chat the successful robbery. It also, by video, led investigators to believe the two met up and transferred the gun and game system to Rueda's vehicle at Hobby Lobby parking lot, and Rueda set the robbery up.
Ruedo and is scheduled for a pretrial status conference April 6, an omnibus date May 4, a trial status conference Sept. 21, and a jury trial Oct. 16.
Martinez informed the judge that he has intentions to provide his own attorney and as a result also has an attorney status conference scheduled for March 16, with other court proceedings scheduled as the same.
Martinez appeared in court Thursday for a trial status conference and confirmed the continuance of the Oct. 16 trial date or June 3. Rueda did not appear and a bondsman is ordered to produce, although his trial was also rescheduled to June 3.
Dani Messick is the education and entertainment reporter for The Goshen News. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 574-538-2065.