In a jury trial last week, 32 year old Clarence Shearer of Fort Wayne was found guilty of Armed Robbery as a level 3 felony and Auto Theft as a level 6 felony. Shearer, represented by counsel, Christopher Berdahl did admit to the allegations that he was a habitual offender.
This case stems from an incident in the parking lot of the LifePlex on July 11th, 2019.
Court records show that Clarence Shearer stole a red Cadillac from Chicago and was traveling east on US 30 when the vehicle got a flat tire. Shearer told his passenger in the vehicle, Avory Shearer of Chicago to stay in the vehicle, which he did. Clarence went to a vehicle in the LifePlex parking lot, opened the driver’s door and displayed a handgun to the man inside and demanded the vehicle. The man refused so Clarence Shearer went to a man walking in the parking lot and asked for a light. When he opened the door on his Chrysler 200 to get the lighter Shearer displayed a gun, pointed it at him and demanded the keys. At that time he went back to the Cadillac and told Avory Shearer to get in.
A short time later a police pursuit ensued. Eventually the passenger was let out of the vehicle. He was detained by police and the pursuit continued eastbound on US 30. If ended in a fiery crash near Columbia City when Clarence Shearer swerved to avoid stop sticks and struck a police squad car that had a K9 officer in it. The vehicle caught fire and officers were unable to save the dog that was inside.
Whitley County Police took Shearer into custody and transported him to Parkview Hospital in Ft. Wayne for treatment.
The Marshall County jury deliberated for about an hour and found Clarence Shearer guilty of Armed Robbery and Auto Theft.
Shearer will be sentenced in Marshall Superior Court I on November 20th. The maximum time he faces is 16 year for the armed robbery and 20 years for the habitual offender for a total of 36 years. The prosecutor will be seeking the maximum.
The passenger in the vehicle Avory Shearer was previously found guilty of theft, removing items from a wallet in the stolen vehicle and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and sentenced to 180 days.