Prosecutors: Teens brought ski masks, zip ties to murder scene - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Prosecutors: Teens brought ski masks, zip ties to murder scene

Garreth Stephens (front) and Christopher Sowders were lead into court Friday morning. Garreth Stephens (front) and Christopher Sowders were lead into court Friday morning.
Christopher Jared Sowders (Source: Clark County Jail) Christopher Jared Sowders (Source: Clark County Jail)
Garreth Edward Stephens (Source: Clark County Jail) Garreth Edward Stephens (Source: Clark County Jail)
Steven Baldwin (Source: Family photo) Steven Baldwin (Source: Family photo)

CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Two young men accused of breaking into a Sellersburg man's home and shooting and killing him allegedly brought ski masks, zip ties and a handgun to the victim's house.

Christopher Jared Sowders, 18, and Garreth Stephens, 19, will not be out on bail anytime soon. Judge Vicki Carmichael did not set a bond during Sowders and Stephens initial hearing Friday.

The pair are charged with murder and burglary after an alleged home invasion March 11. According to court documents, Sowders and Stephens planned to steal money from Steven Baldwin. Police said the young men became startled when they encountered Baldwin, and Sowders shot him. Baldwin later died from his injuries.

"Mr. Sowders is the one who fired the gun," prosecutor Jeremy Mull said. An arrest affidavit indicates Sowders owned a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun. The bullet recovered from Baldwin at the autopsy measured .25 inches in diameter.

Detectives also found black zip ties at the scene. "They staked out the house. They put a lot of time, effort and planning into how they were going to carry out the burglary," Mull said. "It was planned. It was premeditated."

Sowders and Stephens conspired to steal money from Baldwin's home because they knew the homeowner's stepson, according to court documents. Investigators said the pair were after cash they believed to be inside the stepson's room.

Two others, including a young man and girl, initially were involved in planning the burglary. They backed out several weeks before the crime occurred. Prosecutors claim Sowders orchestrated the crime.

Perry McCall represents Sowders. He wouldn't elaborate about the case but said the crime doesn't fit his client's character. "They're really upset, of course," McCall said of Sowders' parents. "It's their son. He's young and it's a serious charge."

During the initial hearing, the judge also read juvenile burglary charges against Sowders from a different crime he allegedly committed when he was younger.

Mull said he plans to prosecute the alleged juvenile crime under the adult statute.

Sowders and Stephens are due back in court in early June.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

 
  • LOCALMore>>

  • New nonprofit seeks to support bereaved parents in Tri-State

    New nonprofit seeks to support bereaved parents in Tri-State

    Monday, October 16 2017 10:47 PM EDT2017-10-17 02:47:43 GMT
    Amber Wagner sits in front of her unborn daughter's grave at St. Joseph Cemetery on Evansville's west side.Amber Wagner sits in front of her unborn daughter's grave at St. Joseph Cemetery on Evansville's west side.

    A Tri-State mother who knows the painful loss of a baby during pregnancy, is now making it her mission to help other families enduring the same thing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015 Health Statistics, every day in the U.S. a woman loses a baby during pregnancy. A new nonprofit organization is aiming to support local families who've suffered that kind of loss. We met an Evansville family who is hoping to make a difference. ...

    More >>

    A Tri-State mother who knows the painful loss of a baby during pregnancy, is now making it her mission to help other families enduring the same thing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015 Health Statistics, every day in the U.S. a woman loses a baby during pregnancy. A new nonprofit organization is aiming to support local families who've suffered that kind of loss. We met an Evansville family who is hoping to make a difference. ...

    More >>
  • Matt Hostettler files for District 64

    Matt Hostettler files for District 64

    Monday, October 16 2017 10:12 PM EDT2017-10-17 02:12:54 GMT
    (Source: State of Indiana)(Source: State of Indiana)

    The son of former Indiana 8th District U.S. representative John Hostettler has filed to run for Indiana State office. 

    More >>

    The son of former Indiana 8th District U.S. representative John Hostettler has filed to run for Indiana State office. 

    More >>
  • EVSC to pay for college entrance exams for over 4,500 students

    EVSC to pay for college entrance exams for over 4,500 students

    Monday, October 16 2017 9:09 PM EDT2017-10-17 01:09:11 GMT
    (EVSC)(EVSC)

    All eighth grade and high school students in Evansville will be able to take some college entrance exams for free.  

    More >>

    All eighth grade and high school students in Evansville will be able to take some college entrance exams for free.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly