Ira Beumer accepts plea deal - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Ira Beumer accepts plea deal

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VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE) -

A high profile murder trial in Vanderburgh County ends abruptly on Wednesday with a guilty plea.

As part of the deal, the prosecutor's office says Ira Beumer pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness, a CLass C Felony. 

But for the family of Antuan Jenkins, the victim in the case, that's not enough.

"I would be shocked. I would be shocked if he was found guilty of murder. I would be happy, but it would shock me completely," Steve Jenkins says.

Steve, the father of Antuan, sat down with 14 News after day two of the trial. As he predicted, Beumer avoided a murder conviction. 

"I still don't think the truth has been brought out and I'm very dissatisfied will all the proceedings that's been going on," Steve says.

He says the truth is his son made a mistake. Steve says he has never once condoned the actions of his son, but thinks it's unfair for his son to have received a death sentence. 

"Justice will come. Everybody will have their day. You can't just take a life just because he stole something from you or whatever," Steve says.

Officials say both sides were worried about what the jury would do in the case. The state says when they were approached Wednesday morning about a plea deal, thought it was the best case scenario. 

"We got what we thought we could get based on what was heard in the courtroom," says Gary Schutte, Chief Deputy Prosecutor. 

Jurors heard from expert witnesses, first responders, 911 calls and recorded interviews with Beumer himself. They heard little about victim Antuan Jenkins and the state says there was also another missing piece of the puzzle. 

"We have the job of trying to convince 12 people to agree on something. In every case, that's difficult. In this particular case, there were people subpoenaed who chose not to testify, people on behalf of the state and that played into it," Schutte says.

The state says those defendants - Nalakeio Bennett, Jeton Hall, and Dezmont Hogan - refused to testify. Officials say it will be up to a judge to decide if there will be penalties for their failure to cooperate with the subpoenas. 

"This was tough because it affected so many people on so many sides. It was a very atypical case. Anytime there is a life lost, it's tragic. We can only restore so much when a life is lost," Schutte says.

If the jury had convicted Beumer of murder, he was facing up to 65 years in prison. Criminal Recklessness is a Class C Felony and carries between two to eight years in prison. 

Beumer will be sentenced at the end of April. 

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