By Nate Smith Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — The Times Herald has received some previously-sealed documents in the shooting of Devan Burris.
On Feb. 7, the newspaper received an amended probable cause affidavit detailing the murder charge against Logan Evans, 18. The newspaper then received previously-sealed warrants and the affidavit of Heaven Berry on Friday. Case information for all three cases is now available for public inspection.
The newspaper, through its attorney Jan Carroll, had filed a brief in Daviess Superior Court, asking that the court unseal the Evans files. Carroll, on behalf of the newspaper, also urged Daviess County Prosecutor Dan Murrie to release information regarding accused conspirator Lucas Benjamin and Berry, who has been charged with providing assistance to another who committed the crime of murder. The sealing of the documents in the murder case did not comply with the law, Carroll had argued in the brief.
The Berry and Evans affidavits contained a clearer picture of what happened in the early-morning hours of Dec. 6 during a supposed drug deal to be made at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Oak Grove Road. Previous information in the case was gained by the now-sealed original affidavit in the case against Benjamin.
During an interview, Benjamin told Washington Police Det. Trent McWilliams he and Evans borrowed a gold Dodge Intrepid, owned by Shawna Campbell, to meet Burris at around 2 a.m. to sell him $100 worth of methamphetamine.
Benjamin said while making the transaction, Burris and another person grabbed him by a hood wrapped him around his arm and then tried to pull him out of the car.
“He stated the subject put a gun to his face and started beating him with it,” the affidavit read. “I asked if (Burris) started beating him with it. He shook his head yes. I asked if (Burris) had any objects beating on him. He shook his head no.”
Benjamin said while he was being drug out of the car, he heard a loud bang and then everyone started screaming. He also said Evans did not intend to shoot anyone, but only wanted to scare the two. Campbell also said in the court documentation that the two told her hours before the incident they wanted to take Burris “hunting.” She told McWilliams she interpreted it as they wanted to shoot him.
The amended affidavit contains no interview of Evans by police. Several of the search warrants now unsealed were for information from cell phones owned by Evans, Berry, Benjamin and others connected to the case.
One warrant, dated Dec. 13, was served to Verizon Wireless and asks for telephone data of Burris, Sheila Evans, Devin Bowman, Kelsie McBride, Corrina Evans, Allison Ford, Craig Streete and another minor involved in the incident. McWilliams received a CD containing the data three days later, according to court records.
In the affidavit in Berry’s case, police learned that Evans was staying at Berry’s apartment at Shepard Hills Apartments, 900 S. Meridian St., on Dec. 7. A day later, she and Evans called police to turn themselves in. During an interview with police, Berry said she learned about the shooting on Facebook, and then contacted Logan and told him to stay at her apartment.
Another warrant contained pictures of text messages allegedly sent by Berry to a friend in Vincennes, where she asked for a ride to Vincennes and a place to stay. One message offered $20 for her and Evans to stay with that friend. Berry and Evans are cousins.
Two other warrants contained information on what was obtained in Sheila Evans’ house at 312 Cable Ave. and the items collected in the Dodge Intrepid. What was missing from the Dodge list was the .410 breakover shotgun used in the shooting. The gun was later found by police at a house at 2213 Oak Grove Road, occupied by Crystal Byers.
Byers was one of the first people to call police at 2 a.m. in the early morning hours follow the shooting which occurred in the midst of a heavy winter snowstorm.