The Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office announced today the sentencing of Clarence Shearer, 33, after a jury found him guilty on October 21 of Armed Robbery, a Level 3 felony and Theft, a Level 6 felony. Sentencing took place on November 20 in front of Judge Robert O. Bowen of Marshall Superior Court 1.
Bowen sentenced Shearer to 16 years on the Armed Robbery count and 2 years on the Theft charge, with those two sentences to run concurrent with one another. In addition, the jury found Shearer to be an Habitual Criminal and Judge Bowen then enhanced the Armed Robbery count by an additional 10 years to be served consecutively. All told, Shearer was sentenced to serve 26 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier represented the State in the trial, while Shearer was represented by Christopher Berdahl.
The case began on July 1, 2019 when Plymouth Officers were dispatched to the LifePlex on the west edge of Plymouth for a reported armed robbery. Detective Ben McIntyre and Officer Shanna Gilmer were the first on scene and were advised that a black male displayed a handgun, stole a black 2016 Chrysler 200 and fled northbound on Pioneer Dr towards US 30.
During the initial investigation, another potential victim reported that Shearer had also demanded his car at gunpoint, all while stating “I aint gonna shoot you” numerous times. When the first victim refused to surrender his car keys, Shearer moved on and confronted the victim that just exited the Chrysler. This victim quickly handed his keys over and hid behind another vehicle while Shearer sped off. Plymouth officers relayed the information to be dispatched to area law enforcement.
Indiana State Police Troopers Jeff Wampler and Tim Carpenter located the stolen vehicle on US 30 near Warsaw. At a traffic light, the driver of the stolen vehicle allowed a passenger to exit, who was immediately apprehended and later identified as Avory Shearer, a relative to Clarence. The vehicle then sped off with Warsaw Police Officer Ryan Petty in pursuit, reaching speeds of over 140 mph.
Further down the road, Whitely County Sheriff Deputy Gary Archbold set up “stop sticks” on 30 eastbound. As Shearer attempted to avoid the “stop sticks” he broadsided Deputy Archbold’s patrol car, which burst into flames. Officer Archbold was uninjured, but unfortunately his K9, Cas, died in the burning patrol car.
Shearer was taken into custody in Whitley County after the crash. He was then transported to a Ft. Wayne hospital for minor injuries. It was found Shearer had an active parole violation warrant.
The gun used in the robbery was found in the Chrysler, and later analysis revealed Shearer’s DNA on the handle of the gun.
Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman expressed alarm that Shearer was so brazen to carry off an armed carjacking in broad daylight by going from car to car in a busy parking lot. “Subsequent and thorough investigation by Detective McIntyre and others revealed that a car reported stolen from the Chicago area had broken down on US 30 immediately north of Mancino’s Restaurant. Witnesses reported the Chrysler drove up to the disabled vehicle and a passenger got out and then entered the Chrysler front passenger door, and off they went eastbound. The willingness of these citizens to get involved was crucial in capturing a really dangerous individual—- an habitual criminal that was passing through our community. Well, he’ll have the next 26 years to think about his visit.”
Shearer still faces charges in Whitley County revolving around the chase, the wreck, and the death of the police dog. For those allegations, Shearer is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.