The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 17, 2020 1:00 am

Trial starts Tuesday in '18 triple slaying

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

The murder trial of a man charged in the Thanksgiving Day killings of three people two years ago is scheduled to start Tuesday. 

Gerald Pinkston, 23, is charged with criminal recklessness and three counts of murder in the Nov. 18, 2018, shooting deaths of Colton Messmer, 20, Joevonn Johnson, 23, and Tracey Andrews, 21. 

A co-defendant – Kameron Joyner, 24 – told investigators he and Pinkston went to the home on Downingtown Drive to kill Messmer over a drug debt. Joyner, who could testify during the four-day trial in Allen Superior Court, pleaded guilty last year and was given a 200-year prison term. 

Pinkston could be sentenced to nearly two centuries behind bars if he is convicted. 

Officers called to the home encountered a grisly scene. 

Kyle Wagner was shot in the face but told police two men had shown up to commit a robbery. He survived after being flown to a hospital in Indianapolis. 

Teryle King, who was shot in the back and survived, told investigators Joyner and Pinkston “were the ones who did the shooting,” according to court documents. 

Messmer, Johnson and Andrews were found dead in the front room of the home. 

“Joyner advised that when he got to the residence he was surprised by the number of people inside the home,” a probable cause affidavit said. “Joyner advised that after being at the residence for five or ten minutes he stood up from his chair, walked in the kitchen, walked back out and started firing at the victims. Joyner advised that his accomplice also fired numerous times inside the house.”

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tom Chaille said last month a gun tied to the shootings had been recovered, though he has declined to discuss specifics.

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