Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 5, 2014

Exam for accused murderer ordered

GOSHEN — A man accused of murdering a 17-year-old Granger girl will get a third psychiatric evaluation.

Michael T. Shoun, 27, Elkhart, agreed in Elkhart Circuit Court Thursday to submit to another examination.

Shoun’s attorney, Peter Todd, told Shewmaker that the first two examinations had differences that should be resolved. The prosecutor’s office agreed with the request.

“It would be helpful to have a little more information,” Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker told Judge Terry Shewmaker.

Shound was scheduled to go to trial June 16, but that will now be pushed back to Oct. 6.

Shoun was arrested on a murder charge for the killing of Tiana Alter Nov. 2, 2013 at a home located at 29482 C.R. 1. The county coroner ruled she died from multiple sharp force injuries. Shoun was arrested at the scene on warrants that were previously issued on other charges.

Shoun has an extensive criminal history and he is being held in the Elkhart County Jail. He has pleaded not guilty.

In other cases Thursday.

• Sergio Rocha Jr., 27, Elkhart, was sentenced to six years in prison, with two years suspended and two years on probation for his role in robbing Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco, Elkhart, on Jan. 25, 2013.

Rocha was accused of being the driver for others who entered the store and robbed it.

Shewmaker said he added two years to the sentence because of Rocha’s previous probation violations, failure to appear in court and alcohol and marijuana use.

• Shewmaker agreed to appoint two doctors to exam the competency of John Lee Lipkins III, 26, Elkhart, to stand trial. He is accused of robbery and burglary.

• Steven Hardy, 47, had his $50,000 bond on a charge of being a habitual traffic offender for life reduced to $2,500.

• Shewmaker agreed to dismiss a probation violation charge against Jason Ragsdale at the request of Deputy Prosecutor David Francisco. Ragsdale had pleaded entered into a plea agreement to plead guilty to a Class C felony charge for theft, but the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney Jeff Majerek all agreed that Ragsdale has turned his life around and successfully completed all requirements by the court. The charge was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.

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