Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pursuer May Face Charges Does 'Castle' Law Cover?

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pursuer May Face Charges Does 'Castle' Law Cover?

Article excerpt

It is unclear whether a man involved in a car chase that ended in a fatal car crash early Sunday morning might find himself facing charges along with the four men police say invaded his home. Indiana law exempts people from prosecution in some circumstances when they use force to protect themselves, others or their property, but it is not a blanket law.

"You can't write a statute for every scenario. The law tries to define it by qualifying it," said Larry Landis, executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council.

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office still is investigating the incident, which began as a home invasion at 5120 Big Cynthiana Road. It ended when homeowner Ira Beumer, 40, chased the fleeing suspects in his truck. Beumer's truck struck the car containing the four suspects, killing one and seriously injuring another.

The details of the accident are unclear and still under investigation.

"We are looking into all aspects of what happened that night," said Carly Settles, a spokeswoman for the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann declined to discuss it while the investigation was continuing.

Two men, including the driver of the car, Dezmont A. Hogan, 23, were apprehended by deputies shortly after the crash. He and Nalakeio L. Bennett, were arrested on preliminary charges that included armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery with a firearm, burglary with injury, intimidation with a weapon, criminal confinement and reckless homicide.

Antuan Jenkins, 22, died in the crash and Jeton Hall, 22, remains hospitalized.

According to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office, Jenkins, Hall, Hogan and Bennett were wearing ski masks when they confronted Beumer outside his home about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Beumer told investigators the group forced him to disarm the home's alarm system and took him from room to room looking for what one kept calling "the big safe."

According to the affidavit, the suspects discovered a lockbox containing an undisclosed amount of money. Once they found a safe in one of the bedrooms, the men forced Beumer to open it. They took money, a handgun and several shotguns, according to the af-fidavit. They also reportedly took an iPad from another part of the home.

At one point, one of the men took Beumer into a bathroom and pointed a gun at his head, according to the report.

Beumer's wife came home during the robbery but, according to the affidavit, noticed suspicious activity at the house and parked on a nearby access road.

After the men fled the home, Beumer went outside, found his wife and told her to call 911 as he left to chase them in his truck.

Beumer told investigators he was trying to block the car from leaving the area, and he crashed into the car after Hogan momentarily swerved off Big Cynthiana Road. …

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