Two charged with felony murder in connection with Devonte Patrick homicide

A 19-year-old and a 17-year-old have been charged in connection to the shooting death of Devonte Patrick. Police are still looking for the 17-year-old.

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 4:47 p.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office has charged a man and a teen with murder in connection to the death of 18-year-old Devonte Patrick in December 2013.

Thomas Harper, 19, and Antonio Walters, 17, of Elkhart, were charged with murder in March, but the files were sealed at the prosecutor's office's request.

Harper is in custody at the Elkhart County Jail; he was arrested in January for an unrelated case.

Walters remains at large, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office. 

Emergency units were dispatched at about 2:42 p.m. Dec. 23. 2013, to Prairie Street and Indiana Avenue on reports of a person who had been shot in the chest.

According to the probable cause affidavit for Harper and Walters' case, Patrick died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Elkhart Police Department talked with numerous witnesses, including two who were in the same car with Patrick when the shooting happened.

One of the witnesses who was in the car with Patrick received a call from Harper, who wanted to buy some marijuana, according to the affidavit. 

They met inside the car Patrick was driving to make the transaction. 

When they got in the car, Harper and Walters began whispering amongst themselves. Instead of paying for the marijuana, Walters took a handgun out and pointed it at one of the passengers in the car. 

One of the witnesses heard Walters say "give me all that shit, or I'm going to kill y'all."

At that point, Harper also took a gun out, and both of he and Walters got out of the vehicle. 

Patrick began to back the vehicle away but Walters started shooting and hit Patrick, causing him to crash in a church parking lot on Prairie Street. Harper and Walters ran from the scene.

The incident brought the community out on Christmas Eve to pray for Patrick and his family.

Harper was arrested Jan. 23 in a case in which he is charged with two counts of burglary resulting in serious bodily injury. He is accused of shooting two men near downtown Elkhart after he was caught attempting to burglarize an apartment. 

In a hearing in Elkhart Superior Court 2 on Monday, Harper's attorney asked the judge for a continuance in her client's case. She said she and the deputy prosecutor in the case are working to resolve the case short of trial. 

Harper's initial hearing on the murder charge has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Elkhart Circuit Court.


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