Elkhart man charged with murdering his roommate to go on trial Monday

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19 Jan. GOSHEN — A man accused of shooting and killing his roommate is expected to go on trial on Monday.

Dustin McKee, 30, is charged with the murder of Brandon Lowe, 38, at their apartment, 424 N. Michigan St., Elkhart on August 25, 2021.

According to an affidavit, Elkhart police responded to a call about an argument between McKee and Lowe at the home at around 7:50 p.m. They didn’t explain what the disagreement was about, but agreed to stay in separate parts of the house for the rest. of the night, and Lowe agreed to leave the apartment within two days.

About 90 minutes later, McKee called 911 and said he shot Lowe. According to the affidavit, McKee told a dispatcher that Lowe continued to harass him after police left the residence the first time, so he shot him several times and then threw the gun into the yard where it was later found by officers after he gave them had informed. They also found five shell casings in the room.

When police arrived at the scene, McKee told them he “didn’t want to do it” and that he “didn’t want it to happen,” according to the affidavit. Lowe died in one of the home’s bedrooms.

When interviewed by detectives, McKee said Lowe forced himself into his bedroom before shooting him, according to the affidavit. While investigating the room, police found no apparent damage to the door, but noted that it was left open with the knob locked. There is also evidence that the door was closed when Lowe was shot.

AUSTIN BOWLIN

Another murder suspect’s lawyer requested a further status conference ahead of his scheduled trial on February 20.

Austin Bowlin, 37, is charged with the March 2020 murder of Jeffrey Crapo, 32.

According to the affidavit, after shooting him, Bowlin drove around with Crapo’s body in a car to various locations in Indiana and Michigan and at one point forced a witness to ride with him for part of the three-day journey . Crapo’s body was disposed of by the car that was set on fire on March 4 outside of Jackson, Michigan.

Bowlin was initially taken into custody in Michigan, where he was charged with arson and mutilation of a corpse, pleading no contest in August.

Bowlin will reconvene in court on February 16, ahead of his scheduled trial date

CORREON M. MEUX

An Elkhart teen had his first day in court on a murder charge. Correon Meux is accused of killing 18-year-old Logan Nussbaum of Goshen in an October 15 shooting.

According to Elkhart City Police, Nussbaum was shot while driving at 2:45 p.m. in the 1200 block of Burr Oak Place, causing him to crash into two vacant parked cars and then into the tree line next to Carriage House Apartments. Officers administered first aid, but Nussbaum was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Due to Meux’s own admission of gang membership, as well as the nature of the charges, 15-year-old Meux was acquitted in adult court. Meux claimed to be affiliated with the Woody Kappa Gang, although family, friends and teachers deemed him a “good boy” under the order to relinquish him and were unaware of his daily use of marijuana and social ecstasy , or his membership in a gang.

Meux’s case is scheduled for jury trial on August 7.

CRISTIAN A. PARADA QUINTANILLA

A burglary suspect’s initial hearing was reset after the defendant explained to Elkhart County Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno during the early moments of the trial that he did not speak English.

Cristian Parada Quintanilla of Elkhart is charged with a burglary that took place on January 14. According to a statement of probable cause, officers responded to a 911 call at Smokes++ at Market Center Square, 2024 Elkhart Road, and arrived to find the front glass door broken. The officer responding to the call saw a person bending over the back of the sales counter and went to his vehicle to keep watch and called for backup.

Through a translator, Parada Quintanilla allegedly told agents that he broke into the business because he wanted to be deported and that he had previously broken into the same location on November 19. Officers also found a large gray Adidas backpack on the floor and a smaller backpack on the counter, both filled with products from the store and a Louisville Slugger baseball bat on the floor near the backpack. Items in the bags totaled $3,4798.11.

The hearing continued until January 27 and will take place before Magistrate Eric Ditton with a translator.

JEREMY C. SHULT

Another burglary case also had its first hearing on Thursday morning. Jeremy Shult is charged with breaking and entering into a home at 2527 California Road at 11:36 a.m. on January 13.

According to one probable explanation, a youth called 911 to indicate that 36-year-old Shult was in the home, had multiple arrest warrants, and that the caller had gone outside where he hid behind a fence, later making a statement saying he confirmed that he did see Shut taking items from the house.

Officers arrived and saw Shult leave the house and after backing up and getting the boy to safety, they attempted to apprehend Shult, who fled by vehicle, ignoring traffic speed limits and monitoring devices within Elkhart city limits, officers said in the affidavit, before they fled on foot. As he fled on foot, his rifle, a loaded .22 caliber firearm, was seen discarded in a bush on Kilbourn Street, the affidavit reads. Shult was eventually apprehended and officers determined that based on property contained in the vehicle, the estimated value of the purses, jewelry, electronics and other items taken from the home was estimated to be approximately $6,600. Shult also has a prior conviction for car theft in 2011 and jail officers said they found a counterfeit $100 bill in his possession while booking.

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A bond report was requested. A pretrial status conference is scheduled for February 16 with an omnibus date of March 16. A trial status conference is scheduled for July 13 and a jury trial is scheduled for August 7.

SAM M. LONIELLO

During Thursday’s court proceedings, a peculiar robbery case was opened for discovery.

On December 12, Nikki Gibson reported to Goshen Police that she had been treated at Goshen Hospital for an injury to her knee and was having trouble driving home, so she posted on Facebook that she needed help and someone responded. That person, later identified as Sam Loniello, 33, of Niles, Michigan, picked her up in what she claimed was a lime green Toyota Prius, according to court documents. At that time she did not have his real name. On the way home, according to the affidavit, the man entered the post office and solicited sexual acts. Gibson refused and he punched her in the face about 15 times, the affidavit reads. Before getting out of the car, the driver reportedly took her handbag containing two cell phones, $300 in cash, a Cash App debit card, driver’s license and medications.

Officers said in the affidavit that they had no luck identifying a suspect until four days later, when Gibson received a text message from the person on a new number asking if she wanted to hook up again for a sexual act. Gibson asked for a photo and confirmed the person was the same person from the robbery and assault, the affidavit reads. An officer went to the agreed location, Lassus, 1001 W. Pike St., and found the vehicle, with Loniello the sole occupant, according to the affidavit.

However, Loniello claimed to police that he never asked for sexual favors and that it was she who assaulted him while he was in the vehicle, claiming he had to pull over because she scratched him, the affidavit reads. Also, in the affidavit, he said she got out of the car and took his phone and some fake money from the console, again claiming he didn’t hit her.

Loniello also claimed, according to the affidavit, that although he had been in contact with the woman about meeting at the gas station and had sent photos of himself to her when asked, the messages requesting sex were not from him. , adding that he wasn’t sending the messages through his phone or an app, but through 4-Chain.

The affidavit also indicated that during the investigation, Loniello “appeared to be only interested in talking about this sex trade that is going on,” and that he told officers he knew of specific locations in Michiana where it was operating, adding that he was never unfaithful to his wife. Officers also spoke to Laura, Loniello’s wife, who was unaware of any scratches on him the night of the alleged robbery; that he had left in the middle of the night but did not know where to; and she was oblivious to purses.

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Loniello is charged with one robbery charge for the incident. He met with Christofeno in Circuit Court on Thursday for a pretrial conference. Attorney Michael Banik, who joined the case on Dec. 29, requested discovery. There will be a conference on the status of the trial on May 25 and a jury trial on June 19.

CHARLES MILLER

An Elkhart man charged with robbing Kroger, 130 W. Hively Ave., Elkhart, on Jan. 15, had an initial hearing on Thursday. Charles Miller, 34, is charged.

According to an affidavit, a caller contacted police to inform them of a robbery in progress, telling them that the man had last run north behind Kroger and jumped a fence that ran further north behind Pierre Moran Public Library, 2400 Benham Ave. The caller also advised that the man took a woman’s handbag and threatened him with a knife.

An officer found a man matching the description given to police who appeared to have blood on his hands and a pocketknife sticking out of his waistband, with the blade up. According to the affidavit, the victim said she went back to her car with her daughter and heard someone in the back seat get in. The man demanded the keys to her vehicle or told her to drive (the two women disagreed), but she refused, so he pulled out a knife and brought it to her neck, the affidavit reads. Her passenger grabbed the arm of the man holding the knife, then he attempted to cut off the driver’s hands, though her hands and the gloves she was wearing showed no cuts, according to the affidavit. She told police that at the time she had opened the driver’s side door and dropped the keys on the floor outside the vehicle. The man walked to the driver’s side door and grabbed her Coach purse, containing two Coach purses, an iPhone, $74, and three silver rings, from the floorboard and left, reading court documents. Police found the wallet in a nearby recycling dumpster and returned the items to her.

Miller denied any involvement. Miller’s jury trial is scheduled for August 8.

Dani Messick is the education and entertainment reporter for The Goshen News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 574-538-2065.