Jury trial for man charged with murder ongoing

Here's what you need to know about the ongoing murder trial in the Elkhart Circuit Court.

Posted on Feb. 17, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.

GOSHEN — Jury selection started Monday morning, Feb. 17, for the murder trial of a man charged in a fatal shooting in Elkhart in April 2013.

Leeshawn Rodgers, 20, of Elkhart, is faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted. The trial is being held at the Elkhart Circuit Court.

Rodgers was arrested in Indianapolis May 13, 2013, for the death of Eddie Johnson, 34, known by some friends as "Mississippi."

The probable cause affidavit for Rodgers' arrest does not mention a possible motive for the shooting, but offers more details about what happened the day Johnson died in Elkhart.

According to the affidavit, Johnson was standing with some friends on the corner of South Sixth Street and Cleveland Avenue April 30.

Witnesses told police that shortly before 4:30 p.m., Rodgers approached Johnson. Johnson put an arm around Rodgers and two men walked around the corner of the house.

A witness told police she heard gunshots just after Rodgers and Johnson turned around the corner of the house. The witness said she looked around the corner and saw Johnson and Rodgers struggling with a handgun, and that after hearing more gunshots Johnson fell.

Another witness told police she saw Rodgers running from the scene just after the shooting.

Rodgers has also been uncooperative at times during court hearings.

During his initial hearing May 23, Rodgers was wheeled into the courtroom strapped onto a restraint chair. He told the court he was being held without any evidence against him while raising his voice and cursing.

Judge Terry Shewmaker told Rodgers to be respectful because he was in a court of law.

Rodgers' attorney status hearing was held at the Elkhart County Jail, where he apologized to the judge for being disrespectful during his initial hearing.


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