POLICE NEWS: Albion man charged with murder of 2-year-old

Trevor Wert

An Albion man was charged Monday with murder, battery to a child, aggravated battery and child molesting following the death of 2-year-old Railee Ewing.

Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman announced the charges against Trevor L. Wert, 42, 312 W. Railroad St., Albion, Monday.

According to the charging affidavit, at 7:23 a.m. Thursday, a 911 call came in about an unresponsive child in Albion. That child, Ewing, was taken by ambulance to Parkview Noble Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 7:47 a.m.

Because there were signs of possible abuse, including significant bruising, police and the Department of Child Services were called to investigate.

Police, according to the affidavit, learned that Wert had been babysitting Ewing Wednesday night, and that’s when they think the injuries occurred. While Wert was being questioned by police, search warrants were obtained for Wert’s home, as well as Ewing’s.

The affidavit revealed that Wert, during questioning, admitted to becoming angry with the child and battered her.

An autopsy was completed Friday afternoon, and the coroner found that Ewing’s death was caused by multiple blunt force traumatic injuries and that her death was a homicide. The report also noted injures to her private areas consistent with penetration by an object.

Wert is being held in the Noble County Jail.

SHOOTING VICTIM IDENTIFIED

Elkhart police have identified the man who was shot and killed at Walnut Trail Apartments at 7:29 p.m. Saturday as 23-year-old Antonio Williams of Elkhart.

According to police, after responding to a call about a fight with gunfire heard, officers found Williams shot to death behind the apartment building, located at 1823 Filbert Way. Another man, who had what appeared to be nonlife-threatening wounds, was taken to Elkhart Hospital for treatment.

ARRESTS

• Dallas Blankenship, 23, 5870 E. 100 South, LaGrange, was arrested by LaGrange County deputies at 11:58 p.m. Sunday on charges of receiving stolen auto parts and resisting law enforcement.

According to police, officers received a tip of a stolen 2010 GMC Acadia being parked at the Super 8 Motel, 7333 North, Howe. When deputies arrived, they reportedly saw two men leave through the driver’s side of the vehicle and then flee. After a short foot pursuit, police said the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Blankenship, was arrested. The passenger was not located. Blankenship was taken to the LaGrange County Jail.

• Saul Garcia Garrido, 23, 25513 Homewood Ave., Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated-felony, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle-felony, resisting law enforcement-misdemeanor, operating a vehicle without insurance, driving with a suspended license-prior, and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

Garrido was stopped for a traffic violation on C.R. 9, north of C.R. 20, near Elkhart. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Michael Fuller, 31, 405 Fairmont Ave., Mishawaka, was arrested by Elkhart County police at 8:23 a.m. Friday on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of syringes and possession of drug paraphernalia. Fuller was reportedly passed out in a car at a gas pump at Speedway gas station, 18541 U.S. 20, Bristol, when police arrived. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Raymond Lee Graber, 61, 520 Noelwood Drive, Goshen, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 7:08 p.m. Friday on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Graber was stopped in the area of Ash Road and C.R. 16 for a traffic violation, police said. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Julian Stoufer, 31, 6120 E. 500 North, Churubusco, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at U.S. 6 and C.R. 43 at 1:51 a.m. Saturday on a warrant for parole violation. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Aaron Blume, 38, 52190 Country Acre Drive, Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 1:57 a.m. Saturday on a charge of public intoxication after he was found walking on U.S. 20, west of Ind. 19. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Tyler Barrier, 20, 3744 Follows St., South Bend, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 7:57 a.m. Saturday on charges of possession of marijuana (a Class B misdemeanor), operating a vehicle while intoxicated-endangerment and illegal consumption of alcohol. Barrier was stopped on C.R. 6 and Ash Road for a traffic violation. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• James Mays, 35, 54152 Ash Road, Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart police at 10:30 p.m. Saturday following a crash on C.R. 1, north of C.R. 108. May was allegedly intoxicated with a breath alcohol concentration of .192 percent. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

• Coleman Hardy, 22, 68226 Dailey Road, Edwardsburg, Michigan, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at C.R.s 4 and 5 at 12:50 a.m. Sunday on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Jenna Mahaffy, 26, 18-B Malcolm Drive, Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 2:18 a.m. Sunday on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving while never having received a valid driver’s license. Mahaffy was stopped for a traffic violation on Homer Avenue, north of Smith Avenue. She was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Tina Gunter, 47, 626 Freemont St., Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license at 1:55 a.m. Sunday. Gunter was stopped at Lusher and Oakland avenues and reported had a breath alcohol concentration of .114 percent. She was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Lerone Harris, 38, 220 W. Sycamore St., Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies following a pursuit at 3:22 a.m. Sunday. According to police, officers attempted to stop Harris at Bristol Street and C.R. 7. Harris fled from officers in a vehicle, crashed and then continued to flee on foot, police said. He was subsequently arrested. After police had obtained a search warrant and a toxicology test was being administered, Harris allegedly injured two officers, exposed an officer to bodily fluid and attempted to escape.

He faces several charges, including: resisting law enforcement, battery on a police officer by bodily fluid, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, being a habitual traffic violator, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, refusal to identify himself, failure to stop after an accident, disorderly conduct, strangulation, battery resulting in bodily injury and escape.

• Shawn Qualls, 41, 10039 C.R. 4, Lot 16, Middlebury, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on a charge of resisting law enforcement while officers were at his home investigating another crime. Officers learned Qualls was wanted on a warrant charging him with contempt of court. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

• Wallace Fields, 47, 800 W. Wolf St., Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County deputies at 2:40 a.m. Sunday on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Fields was stopped at C.R.s 7 and 20 for speeding and allegedly had a breath alcohol concentration of .174 percent. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

BATTERIES

• A 20-year-old Goshen woman reported to Goshen police she was the victim of a domestic assault at 10 a.m. Sunday. The woman suffered pain but had no visible injuries, police reported.

VANDALISM/CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

• Octavio Ramos, Goshen, reported to Goshen police a young person broke the window to his business at 511 E. Jefferson St., at 2:46 p.m. Sunday.

• Joshua Gomez, Goshen, reported to Goshen police a tire on his vehicle had been slashed in the 300 block of Cottage Avenue at 8:54 p.m. Sunday.

APPARENT SUICIDE

• Chandler Deisinger, 22, Nappanee, was found dead at 52824 C.R. 9, Elkhart, at 9 p.m. Friday. Elkhart County Coroner James Elliott said Monday an autopsy was performed and Deisinger’s death is a suspected suicide. However, final results are pending toxicology reports.

THEFTS

• Steven Nobles, reported to Elkhart County deputies that someone stole money from his unlocked vehicle while it was parked in the 52000 block of Downey Road, Elkhart, at 3:22 a.m. Saturday.

• Veronica Hoff, Elkhart, reported to Elkhart County deputies that her yellow 1972 Oldsmobile Custom was stolen from 25290 North Shore Drive, and that the residence had been burglarized. The vehicle was found in Cass County, Michigan, at 10:20 a.m. that day, along with a suspect, police reported.

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