ANDERSON — Already facing an 85-year prison sentence for murder, co-defendant Michael Fleming refused to testify against Orlando Sutton on Thursday.
Sutton, 21, of Anderson, is on trial in Madison Circuit Court Division 3 on two counts of murder, attempted murder and two counts of robbery resulting in bodily injury in connection with the 2018 shooting death of Bryce Patterson.
The trial will resume Monday.
Dressed in a white-and-green striped prison uniform, Fleming on Thursday refused to answer questions posed by Deputy Prosecutor Grey Chandler.
With the jury out of the courtroom, defense attorney Paul Podlejski said he talked with Fleming about all the possible outcomes of his appearance on the witness stand.
Fleming testified that he has known Sutton since elementary school.
“Are you friends?” Chandler asked.
Fleming sat silent.
Circuit Court Division 3 Judge Andrew Hopper directed Fleming to answer the questions.
“You have to follow the courts order to answer questions,” Chandler said.
There was no response from Fleming.
With the jury removed from the courtroom, Podlejski said he informed Fleming of the consequences of not testifying.
“Are there any questions I will ask that you will answer?” Chandler asked.
Fleming remained silent and was found in contempt of court by Hopper.
A normal sentence for contempt of court is 180 days, but Judge Hopper didn’t impose a sentence Thursday.
Fleming is serving a prison sentence of 55 years on a murder conviction and 30 years for attempted murder. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.
Another witness, Lexi Coffel, testified that she dated Sutton for several years and went to high school with Patterson.
“I knew him well,” she said of Patterson. “We were friends.”
On the night that Patterson was shot to death in the 800 block of West 12th Street, Coffel said, she sent Sutton a text message and he called her.
“I had heard something has happened,” she said of sending Sutton the text message.
“I asked if he shot someone,” Coffel said. “He hung up.”
According to Anderson police affidavits, Patterson had helped his friend, Ryan Green, with a flat tire the day he was shot and killed about 10 p.m. in the 800 block of West 12th Street.
Sutton, allegedly, contacted Ryan Green on Snapchat to purchase about $550 worth of pot. Green, in turn, reached out to his brother, Michael Kincade, who obtained it, and an arrangement was made to meet Sutton that evening at a West 12th Street address, according to the police affidavit.
Sutton reportedly told Green he needed to get cash. On the way to the gas station, a tire went flat and Green called Patterson to help them change it.
They returned to 12th Street, where Sutton and Fleming got out of a vehicle and walked to Patterson’s car, according to the affidavit.
Sutton and Fleming demanded money, yelling “Give me all you have,” and then began firing into the vehicle, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Kincade was shot in his left arm and Patterson died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the court document.