LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Seventeen-year-old Iyon Erves has been found guilty on six of his eight charges in connection to the Tippecanoe Mall shooting that happened on December 27th, 2019. He was tried as an adult. It took Judge Sean Persin about five minutes Thursday morning to read his decision.
Erves broke out in tears as the verdict on attempted murder was read. One of his family members walked out of the courtroom immediately. About a dozen of his family members have been present for the entire bench trial, which started on Tuesday. They had no comment for News 18 after the verdict.
The verdict is as follows:
- Count 1 Attempted murder-guilty
- Count 2 Attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon- guilty
- Count 3 Attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon- not guilty
- Count 4 Intimidation- guilty
- Count 5 Intimidation- not guilty
- Count 6 Criminal recklessness- guilty
- Count 7 Carrying a handgun without a license- guilty
- Count 8 Criminal mischief- guilty, but lesser charge. Reduced to Class B misdemeanor.
WLFI has been covering the trial this week. Erves was facing six felony charges and two misdemeanor charges for the crime.
In today's world where active shooter situations in public spaces occur, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said this case shows the importance of our local police forces.
"We could have had multiple deaths that night from this act, so we are very thankful for the verdict," he said. "Once again, it shows that in our community law enforcement works hard to keep us safe."
The two charges he was found not guilty on were in connection to one of the minors who testified on Tuesday. The judge determined the state had not proved attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon or intimidation in connection to that minor.
Arguably the most important witness was not called to testify by the state or defense. This is the minor Erves was pointing his gun at over an unconfirmed dispute. One witness said they believed it was over a disagreement had over social media, but that was the only witness involved who gave some sort of reason. The other minors who testified said they did not know why Erves wanted to fight their friend.
Harrington could not speak on this witness specifically. However, he said generally, sometimes credible witnesses decide they don't want to cooperate anymore.
"Or they just seem to have forgotten what they may have witnessed," he said on reasons why they may not call a certain witness. "That's part of the system and we have to address that and put the best evidence on that we can with what we have."
Erves is facing up to 40 years on just the attempted murder charge. His sentencing is set for August 17th.