The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 03, 2021 1:00 am

Felony murder trial set to start

20-year-old 2nd man charged in '19 slaying

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

The second of two men charged in a shooting death just west of downtown in October 2019 is expected to stand trial beginning today.

Anthony M. Mitchell, 20, is charged with felony murder and robbery in the death of Pablo Guzman Vasquez, 40, who was shot just outside a Runnion Avenue home.

Prosecutors dismissed a murder charge against Mitchell last week. Indiana law defines felony murder as a murder committed in the act of another felony.

Mitchell's trial is expected to run through Thursday.

Jermaine Turner, 41, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced in March 2020 to 50 years in prison. Mitchell and Turner were together at the time, according to court documents, but Turner admitted firing the fatal shots.

When Turner was sentenced, he tried to exonerate Mitchell, saying “he had nothing to do with it.”

A witness told police another person wanted to rob a homeowner in the area of “drugs, money and electronics,” according to a probable cause affidavit. The homeowner, who is not named in court documents, had struck a woman identified in the affidavit as Witness 6, and the woman reportedly planned the robbery.

Investigators said Witness 6 picked up Mitchell and Turner, who had a gun, and drove to an apartment. The woman drove away after hearing gunshots and picked up Turner and Mitchell nearby, the affidavit said.

“(She) stated to detectives that she heard the younger male say to (Turner), 'You were right, you were the first one to get shots off with that gun,' referring to the fact that (Turner) shot somebody with a gun,'” Fort Wayne police Detective Dan Hutson wrote in charging documents.

Fort Wayne police said at the time of the killing that Mitchell wasn't the shooter, but he was arrested because he was there and helped commit the crime.

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