Triple murder trial draws to a close at Allen County Courthouse

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – The trial of a local man accused of killing a 32-week pregnant woman and her friend last year drew near a close late Thursday at the Allen County Courthouse.

Deyante Stephens is accused of shooting to death 37-year old Preonda Jones and 24-year old Brianna Gould inside a home on Lillie Street back in January 2018. Gould was in the final weeks of a pregnancy at the time.

Indiana law stipulates a count of murder may be filed when an unborn “viable” child is the victim of a crime, leading the third murder count in the case.

Police found Stephens a few hours after the shooting when he tried to enter someone’s apartment. He was bleeding from his hand and had spots of blood on his clothing.

Reports indicate he directed officers to “shoot him” rather than take him into custody.

Stephens has a record of violent offenses and served time in prison after pleading guilty to a reckless homicide charge in 2010.

He was also convicted on a federal count of armed robbery several years later.

Several witnesses were called to the stand during the triple-murder trial.

Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense delivered closing arguments and the case was given to the jury late in the afternoon.

Deliberations began immediately.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley

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