Third evaluation to be rescheduled for Elkhart murder suspect Michael Shoun

Michael Shoun is charged with murder in connection with the death of 17-year-old Tiana Alter.

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 3:27 p.m.

GOSHEN — The court ordered an Elkhart man charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of a 17-year-old girl to be evaluated for a third time to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

Michael Shoun, charged with murder in connection with the death of Tiana Alter, appeared in court Thursday, June 5. Shoun’s attorney Peter Todd asked the court to continue his client’s trial, which was set for June 16. 

The court rescheduled the trial for Oct. 6.

Shoun was arrested on unrelated charges the night of Alter’s homicide, on Nov. 2, 2013. He was later charged with murder in connection with the incident.

Shoun has been evaluated twice. Judge Terry Shewmaker said in a February hearing that one of the evaluations deemed Shoun competent for trial, but the other evaluation did not. He ordered a third evaluation

Todd told the court Thursday that Shoun was never informed about the evaluation but that he would be willing to participate. Vicki Becker, chief deputy prosecutor, said Shoun refused to be evaluated when the psychiatric staff visited him at the jail. 

The judge ordered for the evaluation to be scheduled again and asked Shoun if he would participate this time. Shoun told the court he would cooperate. 

Shoun’s next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 8:30 a.m.

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