GOSHEN — Terry Sheets, at one time accused of murder for shooting a man in April, appeared in Elkhart Circuit Court to be sentenced on lesser charges.
Sheets, 26, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and criminal recklessness.
Though Sheets was originally charged with murder in Matthew Barks’ case, attorneys revised the charges while negotiating a plea agreement.
Sheets was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his voluntary manslaughter charge. The judge suspended 10 years and ordered him to serve that portion of the sentence on probation. He was sentenced to 1½ years in prison for his criminal recklessness charge. The plea agreement established that the sentences will run concurrent.
Sheets was arrested for shooting Bark, 24, early on April 20 at 2801 Toledo Road, Apt. 1517. Sheets told police from the beginning that he shot Bark, but said he acted against Bark because he was trying to defend himself and Bark’s girlfriend during a dispute.
Deputy prosecutor Don Pitzer said the entire situation was avoidable.
“It was senseless, needless, when you add to domestic situations alcohol and a handgun.”
Sheets told the court he was remorseful of his actions that led to his conviction.
“I do regret it, and I will for the rest of my life, “ he said.
The court held hearings for two other homicide cases Thursday morning:
The court held a pretrial conference for Michael Shoun, 26, who is accused of killing 17-year-old Tiana Alter Nov. 2. Shoun’s jury trial is scheduled March 3, 2014.
Todd Stewart’s jury trial was reset for March 3, 2014, with an alternate date of April 7. Stewart, 35, is accused of killing Mark Miller, 44, whose body was found in a barrel floating in the St. Joseph River. Stewart’s trial was scheduled for Jan. 6, 2014, but Stewart’s attorney requested a continuance.