Man admits conspiring murder

An Elkhart man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in Elkhart's Circuit Court.

Posted on Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — A man, accused of lending his rifle in an attempt to kill another man in the south side of Elkhart last year, pleaded guilty in Elkhart Circuit Court.

Jose Pena, 43, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, a Class A felony, and promoting prostitution, a Class C felony.

He will receive a sentence of 25 years in prison and 15 years on reporting probation. All other terms, including restitution, will be at the court’s discretion.

Pena was arrested Nov. 2, 2012, shortly after police were called to the 200 block of Indiana Avenue to reports of a shooting.

Police found a 30-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his thighs and took him to Elkhart General Hospital. The victim was treated and released.

During their investigation, police found that Pena gave his rifle to Devarious Cantrell, 22, of Elkhart, when Cantrell said he was angry at the victim.

Cantrell told police he and Pena devised a plan, which included having Cantrell wait outside a house the victim was leaving and shooting him.

After obtaining permission from Pena, police searched his apartment and his truck. They found the rifle used in the shooting in Pena’s truck.

During his plea hearing, Pena also admitted to having received money knowing it was earned in part or as a whole from prostitution.

Cantrell pleaded guilty to attempted murder Sept. 4. He was sentenced Sept. 26 to 35 years in prison and seven years on reporting probation.

Judge Terry Shewmaker scheduled Pena’s sentencing hearing for Nov. 21.

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