By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A man accused of shooting another man in the head over drugs and money was convicted on Friday.
Darius Hardiman was found guilty of attempted murder in Madison Circuit Court 6. The 12 jurors unanimously convicted the 21-year-old on counts of attempted murder, robbery and possession of marijuana. The jury deliberated for about two hours.
On March 17, Hardiman shot 25-year-old Antonio McMullen twice, both glancing shots to the head. Based on evidence and testimony released in court during the three-day trial, it is believed Hardiman and 30-year-old Marcus Jones met up with McMullen near 21st and Nelle streets for a drug deal, and Hardiman unexpectedly pulled out a gun and shot McMullen. The two then allegedly robbed McMullen and left him for dead.
Jones, who later turned himself in to police, confirmed the story, but said Hardiman took a gun in McMullen’s possession to fire the shots.
Hardiman fled, and Anderson police requested help finding him from the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force and Indiana State Police, notifying area law enforcement on April 3 that he might be in Evansville.
On April 4, police received information that Hardiman was at a hotel owned by his family in Petersburg, about 50 miles north of Evansville. Over 20 officers from the Indiana State Police, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, and Petersburg and Washington police departments searched for Hardiman.
Deputy prosecutor Daniel Kopp, who tried the case along with deputy prosecutor Stephanie Wade, admitted that based on the nature of the incident, neither McMullen nor Hardiman were “good guys.”
“But anyone can be a victim, and everyone deserves justice,” Kopp said. “That was one of the phrases we used throughout the trial.”
Jones and 37-year-old Janice Kelley are co-defendants in the case, but their trial dates aren’t scheduled until October. Jones is also charged with attempted murder, possession of marijuana and robbery and his trial is set for Oct. 22. Kopp said it’s possible that case could be resolved before going to trial.
Kelley is accused of accepting the marijuana from Hardiman and Jones after the incident, and she’s charged with possession of marijuana. Her trial date is set for Oct. 30. Both Jones and Kelley are scheduled to be tried in Court 6.
According to Judge Dennis Carroll, sentencing for Hardiman will be Oct. 14.
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