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Teenager charged as adult in robbery-related death

Sixteen-year-old Omar Ruffin faces a felony murder charge, along with an attempted armed robbery charge, in connection with his role in a crime that left his friend dead.

Ruffin, of the 4000 block of Oliver Street, is charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crimes. In Indiana, teens who are 16 or older are automatically charged as adults for crimes such as murder, kidnapping and other violent offenses.

The crime of felony murder accuses Ruffin of participating in a crime in which someone was killed, in this instance 18-year-old Jaqueze Dandridge.

According to court documents, on June 1, Ruffin and Dandridge were looking for someone to rob when they spotted two men sitting on their porch near South Wayne and West Packard avenues around 11 p.m.

They snuck around the back of the house and attacked Stuart Heath and Kyle Hagerman, brandishing a pellet gun, according to court documents. As Dandridge and Heath struggled, Heath pulled out a real gun and shot Dandridge three times, killing him, the documents said. Heath has not been charged in the shooting.

Ruffin ran off but was later picked up by police after being identified by a family member of Dandridge, according to court documents.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Crime stats

2013 homicide map, details