Jury finds 22-year-old guilty of murdering man at cellphone sale

Crime Watch 8
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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A jury Thursday convicted a 22-year-old man for the 2016 fatal shooting of a 50-year-old man on the city’s northeast side, prosecutors said.

Larry Joe Thomas of Indianapolis was convicted of two counts of murder and a count of attempted robbery in the death of Rito Llamas-Juarez on Feb. 29, 2016, in a parking lot in the 3900 block of North Post Road, said a news release from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives interviewed witnesses who had accompanied Llamas-Juarez to meet the seller of an iPhone 6 posted on the app OfferUp. 

Witnesses told police that Llamas-Juarez was sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle when three men in their early 20s approached. After talking for a few moments, witnesses said, one of the men pulled an automatic rifle out of his jacket, pointed it at Llamas-Juarez and fired once into his chest.

Electronic and cellphone records were used to help identify Thomas as a suspect in the murder. The IMPD digital forensics unit provided data that linked Thomas to the OfferUp post through his Facebook account.

In addition, during the execution of a search warrant at Thomas’ home, a box containing .223-caliber rifle ammunition was found in the suspect’s bedroom closet, the same type used to kill Llamas-Juarez. 

A fingerprint examiner also discovered prints on the inside of the iPhone box found in the victim’s car and identified them as those of Thomas. 

A sentencing hearing was set for 10 a.m. June 21 in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 4. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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