Jury in attempted murder trial views defendant's statement to police

·2 min read
Muncie police responded  to a house on West Euclid Avenue on the early morning of Oct. 18, 2019, after receiving reports of seven people being shot.
Muncie police responded to a house on West Euclid Avenue on the early morning of Oct. 18, 2019, after receiving reports of seven people being shot.

MUNCIE, Ind. — Jurors in the trial of a Muncie man charged with attempted murder on Friday heard the defendant's account of events that saw seven people shot, one fatally, at a 2019 party near the Ball State University campus.

The Delaware Circuit Court 2 jury viewed a four-hour video recording that showed Vashaun Letrell Harnett, now 22, being interviewed by Muncie police detectives — on May 18, 2019 — after the early morning shooting spree at a party in the 2400 block of West Euclid Avenue.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig and Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Ramirez contend Harnett fired the vast majority of gunshots that night.

Eleven of a dozen shell casings found inside the house — and six other shell casings recovered outside — all came from Harnett's 9mm handgun, a ballistics examiner testified.

However, the Muncie man does not face charges stemming from the shootings of six of seven gunshot victims, including 17-year-old Daymarr "Scooter" Kennedy of Muncie, who died two days after being wounded.

MORE NEWS:

►Deputies: New Castle man struck child in nose, mouth

►Winchester man charged with burglarizing home he once lived in

Prosecutors do not contest Harnett's claim that he fired his gun in self defense inside the house after one of the persons shot — Spelmon S. Allen IV, now 22 — had pointed his own handgun at both the defendant and Harnett's girlfriend.

However, the attempted murder charge stems from the shooting a short time later outside the house, when Harnett gunned down Tyler Childers, now 21, as Childers stood over shooting victim Allen.

Childers survived the shooting, but has not showed up to testify at Harnett's trial.

In his interview with police, Harnett contended he believed Childers and another man were attempting to retrieve a handgun from the wounded Allen.

Childers "looked to me like he was trying to grab (Allen's) gun," Harnett told officers.

Harnett also said when he shot Allen inside the house, the shooting victim "fell and was still shooting up in the air."

Also on Friday, jurors viewed a recording from a police officer's body camera, showing the scene outside the Euclid Avenue house before ambulances arrived.

Harnett — who had called 911 dispatchers to report the shootings — was seen drawing officers' attention to Allen, who had collapsed after being shot.

"This man right here pointed a gun at my face," Harnett told officers.

An officer was also seen urging the critically injured Allen to "stay with me, Spelmon."

Craig and Ramirez are expected to rest the state's case on Monday.

Defense attorneys William Summerfield and Grey Harris will then determine whether jurors will hear from their client again, this time from the witness stand.

Judge Kimberly Dowling is presiding over the trial.

STAY INFORMED AND SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM: Subscribe today using the link at the top of this page.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Jurors view shooting defendant's statement to detectives

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting