Elkhart man arrested in Texas after absconding from probation

Edward Brena

GOSHEN — An Elkhart man who was sentenced for battery was in court again Thursday after allegedly removing his ankle monitor and fleeing the state.

Edward Brena, 34, was sentenced to three years in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility followed by two years on probation after he pleaded guilty to battery with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony. He was originally charged with attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, after his arrest in June 2017.

Police said he chased and stabbed a man multiple times during an argument over missing a ride home.

Brena was sentenced in July 2018 despite an attempt to back out of his plea agreement, in the hopes that he could get a better deal.

He entered a Michiana Community Corrections program in May after a modification of his sentence was granted. Two months later, on July 13, MCC received an alert that his ankle bracelet had been tampered with. 

His monitor was found later that evening, but his whereabouts were unknown. Attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful, according to MCC’s report.

A judge issued a bench warrant for Brena’s arrest, without bond. Court records show that he was arrested and transferred to Elkhart County from Edinburg, Texas, in early November.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno informed Brena Thursday of the alleged probation violation that had been lodged against him. The judge appointed a public defender for him, at his request, and set his next hearing for Dec. 12.

Elkhart County Court Services recommended that Brena be ordered to serve the suspended portion of his sentence.

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