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3 charged with murder in shooting at Elkhart apartments

Authorities have charged three people with the 2009 murder of Alphonso James. James was gunned down at an apartment on G Lane in Old Farm Apartments on Elkhart's south side July 25, 2009, according to court documents. After the shooting police arrested James' cousin, Daron R. Tuggle, 27, of 1672 Toledo Road, Elkhart, on a charge of cocaine dealing.
Justin Leighty
Posted on March 26, 2010 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on March 26, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

GOSHEN -- Authorities have charged three people with the 2009 murder of Alphonso James.

James was gunned down at an apartment on G Lane in Old Farm Apartments on Elkhart's south side July 25, 2009, according to court documents.

After the shooting police arrested James' cousin, Daron R. Tuggle, 27, of 1672 Toledo Road, Elkhart, on a charge of cocaine dealing.

Thursday morning prosecutors added a charge of murder during the commission of a felony.

According to court documents, Tuggle told police he ran into Charles Farrell, III, 34, earlier that day in Mishawaka, and Farrell asked about getting 2 kilograms, about 41/2 pounds, of powder cocaine.

Tuggle said his cousin could provide it and made some phone calls, according to a police affidavit.

The deal was to go down at the apartment where James died, according to the affidavit.

James brought out two bags of cocaine and Bruce A. White, Jr., pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and shot James in the abdomen and the shoulder, witnesses told police.

As Farrell and White ran from the apartment, White yelled either "I got him" or "I shot him," according to James' girlfriend, who was waiting outside the apartment, police wrote.

Tuggle called 911 after the men left.

Under Indiana law, anytime someone dies during the commission of certain felony crimes, any party in that felony can be convicted of murder. Prosecutors charged Tuggle with committing cocaine dealing along with James.

Farrell, of 4401 Meadow Lane, South Bend, is charged with murder. White, of 3602 Edison Road, Apt. 11, South Bend, is charged with murder and with murder during the commission of a felony.

Both men remain at large and are wanted on warrants. Each faces up to 65 years in prison.

Tuggle faces up to 65 years for felony murder and up to 50 years for conspiracy to commit cocaine dealing.

His trial is scheduled for June 21 in Elkhart Circuit Court.



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