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Court docs: Masked men pushed into apartment before murder

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Court documents released Monday reveal new details about the murder of 52-year-old John Byler in his apartment on Center Street last week.

As 24-Hour News 8 reported, 39-year-old Wesley Hampton and 35-year-old Aarron Vance were arrested for the crime on preliminary charges of murder.

According to court documents, there were several people in the apartment when the shooting occurred Monday, Jan. 16. Several men wearing masks pushed their way into Byler’s home demanding drugs and money.

One of the witnesses told police the men struck someone in the home with a tire iron-like object, then went to the back bedroom, fought with Byler and shot him. The suspects fled the scene.

Byler was later pronounced dead at a Lafayette hospital. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Court documents state Hampton, who was wanted on an arrest warrant, was picked up the same night as the crime. He told police he had a gun inside his vehicle, and officers recovered a revolver under the driver’s seat.

On Friday morning, Vance was located by authorities. He admitted to police he and Hampton went to the Center Street apartment to get some spice. Vance told police while inside an altercation had taken place. He said during the fight, Hampton shot Byler.

Documents went on to say: when officers showed Vance a picture of the gun found in Hampton’s vehicle, Vance told police it looked like the gun Hampton used to shoot Byler.

Authorities are holding Hampton and Vance until at least Wednesday, pending formal charges.

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