ELKHART — A man accused of robbing, beating and kidnapping an Army veteran in July 2013 was found guilty of four charges Wednesday, March 26, following a two-day trial.
Tyrone Winkleman was found guilty of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, kidnapping, criminal confinement and carjacking.
Additionally, Winkleman admitted to being a habitual criminal offender. The prosecutor's office filed a habitual criminal offender enhancement, which will add another 30 years to Winkleman's sentence.
Judge Terry Shewmaker entered a judgment of conviction on Winkleman's first three charges, finding him guilty of robbery, kidnapping and criminal confinement.
The prosecuting attorney in the case did not ask the judge to enter judgment of conviction on the fourth charge because there may be an issue in court about the kidnapping and carjacking charges being similar.
Winkleman faces up to 150 years in prison.
Winkleman sat silently next to his attorney while the judge read the jury's verdict.
During the trial, Winkleman's victim, James Armagost, 68, told the jury about the incident, which happened July 25, 2013.
Armagost said Winkleman faked having a seizure just outside the Budget Inn, 2807 Cassopolis St.
When Armagost approached to help Winkleman he was punched in the face. Armagost's injuries were so severe, he was later taken to the hospital, where he was told he had more than 30 pieces of broken bone in his nose as a result of the injuries.
Winkleman took Armagost on a ride around the city, stopping at a mobile home park, where he left Armagost in a shed behind a house.
Winkleman later came back and took Armagost with him while he picked up a friend and stopped at a liquor store.
After making it back to the hotel, Armagost was able to escape and run to a business across the street, where he talked with an officer about what had just happened.
During the second day of trial, the jury heard testimony from several witnesses, including the friend Winkleman picked up on his way back to the hotel, an Elkhart Police lab technician and a doctor at Elkhart General Hospital.
The jury was sent to deliberate at 2:45 p.m. according to Don Pitzer, one of the prosecuting attorneys in the case. It took two hours for the jury to reach a verdict.
Winkleman's sentencing hearing was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 17.