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Bloody clothes report, stolen Xbox, debit card purchase help prosecutors charge men with murder

Matthew Mace (left) and Thomas Loveless (right)

Court documents are revealing new information in a brutal Lafayette killing where a man was stabbed 54 times.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 2:31 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 5:28 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The girlfriend of a man accused of murder said he and his friend returned with bloody clothes after a stabbing. Prosecutors said it all started with what the victim thought would be a money transaction. 

Court documents are revealing new information in the brutal killing where 57-year-old Charles Sandefur was stabbed 54 times. 


Charles Sandefur via Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office

Thomas Loveless and Matthew Mace were both charged with murder Thursday by the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office. A landlord found Sandefur dead in an Alabama Street apartment on Dec. 13. Prosecutors say Sandefur was likely dead for 17 days before he was found. 

Prosecutors said Facebook messages between Sandefur and an account named "Ace Capone" began on Nov. 25. Thomas Loveless later admitted the account was his.

"Capone" messaged Sandefur asking for money, according to court documents. An arrangement was made for the two to meet at Sandefur's home. Loveless allegedly asked Sandefur if he lived alone, had any pets or weapons, was a veteran or is rich. Court documents say Sandefur responded saying he lived alone and did not have weapons. "Capone" says he has a friend with him and would like to bring him. 

Prosecutors said "Capone" messaged Sandefur and said he was at the library. Sandefur said he would be there in a few minutes, and "Capone" would later ask where he was. There is no further communication after this.

The "Ace Capone" account was deactivated on the morning of Nov. 26. Police also found a message to the account at 11:19 p.m. from a woman asking for "Matt." Prosecutors said the account replied that they were taking a walk to get some money. The woman would later be identified as Matthew Mace's girlfriend. 

On Dec. 9, police tracked a purchase on Sandefur's stolen debit card to the Village Pantry on South 4th Street. Prosecutors said two purchases were made, totalling less than $10. Surveillance videos show Mace handing Loveless the card for the purchase. 

Loveless was later brought in for questioning on Jan 14. Police said he had two cellphones on him, one of which was Mace's. Loveless admitted the "Ace Capone" account was his, but said he didn't send the messages to Sandefur. He also admitted he used the card to make purchases at the Village Pantry without permission.

Mace was brought in later that day. Mace said he got the stolen debit card from Loveless. Documents show Mace admitted the two men were messaging Sandefur with his phone, but using Loveless' account. 

Mace told detectives while they were inside Sandefur's apartment, Loveless choked and beat Sandefur. According to prosecutors, Mace claimed he left, and Loveless later told him he stabbed Sandefur. Mace also admitted to taking a TV, Xbox and games from Sandefur.

Loveless' story was different, however, when he was called in for questioning a second time. He claimed it was Mace who stabbed and killed Sandefur. However, he admitted he and Mace took Sandefur's items before they left.

Police later talked to Mace's girlfriend, who said the two men brought home an Xbox and games to her place "around the end of November in 2019." She said both men had bloody clothes when they came back. She also said Mace told her he had killed someone, and described the stabbing.

Thomas Loveless, 28 of Lafayette, is charged with two counts of murder, robbery, robbery resulting in seriously bodily injury, theft and fraud. Matthew Mace, 29 of Lafayette, is charged with the same. 

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