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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Man found guilty of attempted murder of woman

Willie L. Amos
Willie L. Amos
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 06:57 pm

A man on trial for the attempted murder of a woman he once had a relationship with was found guilty Wednesday afternoon in Allen Superior Court of two charges by a jury and another charge by Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck.

Willie L. Amos, 40, was found guilty by a jury of attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, carrying a 20- to 40-year term, and dealing in a Schedule 1 controlled substance weighing at least 28 grams, a Level 2 felony, carrying a 20- to 30-year term.

Amos was accused of ramming her car and shooting her Aug. 24 after she ended their relationship in April 2016. The woman testified Tuesday he repeatedly threatened to kill her and when she saw him following her as she left her mother's house, she said he engaged in a pursuit, ramming her car until she crashed into a tree at Fairfield Avenue and Pasadena Drive. She testified Amos climbed out of his vehicle, which he also crashed and walked over to her, pumping three bullets into her leg and back and then kicked her as she was in a fetal position on the ground.

As Indiana State Police lab technician Michelle Fletcher testified the bullets from the victim matched the gun in Amos' possession when he was arrested. 

When defense attorney Anthony Churchward opened the envelopes and showed Amos the bullets, Amos claimed aloud the bullets weren't his, prompting Surbeck to usher the jury out of the courtroom. Amos continued to protest the state withheld evidence regarding the bullets, and Surbeck threatened to remove Amos from the courtroom if he continued to have outbursts.

Another technician who tested the tan powder found on Amos after the shooting tested positive for methylenedioxymethamphetamine and totaled nearly 40 grams.

After the jury began deliberation, Surbeck heard arguments concerning another count — unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony — through a process called bifurcation, allowing Surbeck to divide a trial into two parts and render a judgment on a particular set of legal issues. 

Churchward argued Amos' 1994 attempted murder conviction in an unrelated case predated a change in the law, specifically the wording "serious violent," meaning, at most, Amos could only be found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Level 5 felony.

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Christine Neilson presented a case which supported the charge. After the guilty verdicts were read and the jury dismissed for the evening, Surbeck pronounced a guilty verdict for the firearms charge, meaning Amos could receive a two- to 12-year prison term for the Level 4 felony. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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