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Suspect in Elwood officer murder claims ‘intellectual disability’ to avoid death sentence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The man accused of murdering Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz claims he has an “intellectual disability” that makes him ineligible for the death penalty.

Carl Roy Webb Boards II appeared before a judge Tuesday morning in Madison County.

Boards faces charges that include murder for the July 2022 shooting death of Shahnavaz.

Investigators say Shahnavaz died “in a hail of bullets” during an overnight traffic stop.

Police also believe Boards opened fire on Shahnavaz with a rifle before the officer ever got out of his car.

Prosecutors have announced they plan to seek the death penalty in the case.

In court motions, Boards’ attorneys argue he meets the legal definition of ‘intellectual disability’ that would prevent him from being sentenced to death.

“IC 35-36-9-2 Individual with an intellectual disability

“Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, “individual with an intellectual disability” means an individual who, before becoming twenty-two (22) years of age, manifests:

“(1) significantly subaverage intellectual functioning; and

“(2) substantial impairment of adaptive behavior;

“that is documented in a court ordered evaluative report.”

Indiana Code

The judge has ordered evaluations on Boards.

A hearing on the defense motion is set for September.

The judge denied a request to allow Boards to appear virtually for future court hearings, but did not rule on a defense request for him to be handcuffed instead of shackled when he enters court.

Boards is currently scheduled for trial in January 2025.

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