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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, September 12, 2019 1:00 am

Man charged in Whitley police dog's death

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne man had drugs in his system when investigators say he crashed into a Whitley County sheriff's deputy's car, killing a police dog, according to court documents. 

Clarence L. Shearer, 31, of the 1300 block of Lillie Street, was formally charged Wednesday in the dog's death, and a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday in Whitley Circuit Court alleges a blood test revealed THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and synthetic opioid painkiller fentanyl. He also had a gun at the time of the crash, police said.

Shearer  is charged with causing the death of a law enforcement animal while operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood, resisting law enforcement, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and criminal recklessness in the July 10 crash.

He faces up to 191/2 years in prison if he is convicted.

Plymouth police on July 10 investigated an armed carjacking of a black 2016 Chrysler 200 near U.S. 30 and Pioneer Drive, and an Indiana state trooper later saw the car traveling east on U.S. 30, near Fox Farm Road, investigators said. Shearer, the driver of the car, stopped to let a passenger – his brother, Avory Shearer – out and reportedly sped off.

Shearer crashed into the police cruiser after driving across both eastbound lanes of the highway, Indiana State Police reported. Castorka, or “Cas,” was trapped inside the burning vehicle.

When interviewed by police after the crash, Shearer reportedly denied stealing the car and told investigators he could not remember details of the crash or the high-speed chase. 

“Clarence said he remembered driving fast and he was probably being followed by the police,” a probable cause affidavit alleges. “Clarence stated that he remembered going really fast and said he saw something metal in the roadway. He further explained this was something to deflate his tires so he swerved to miss it. Clarence stated the next thing he remembers is being pulled away from the flames after the car crashed.”

Avory Shearer was charged Aug. 1 in Marshall County with theft and two counts of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to the theft charge and one count of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, and court records show he was sentenced to 76 days in jail. 

mleblanc@jg.net