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NASHVILLE — A Brown County man who killed a man by shooting him in the neck with a handgun is heading to prison.
On Monday, Brown Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart sentenced 38-year-old Benjamin “Jake” Munn of Peoga Road to 16 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, as well as nearly $9,000 in restitution to his victim’s family, on conviction of Class B felony voluntary manslaughter.
Family of Munn and the victim, 31-year-old Jamie Shawn Simpson, filled the courtroom as the judge pondered if she should accept terms of the plea deal or force the state to proceed to trial.
“I will accept the plea,” Stewart said after all parties had weighed in.
Simpson’s family objected to the proposed punishment, which included dropping a murder charge.
The deceased’s father, Lyndon Simpson, said the fact that Munn was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm when he committed the crime should be sufficient for a higher-level felony. He wanted a jury to decide Munn’s fate.
In a plea hearing two days before jury selection was to begin last month, Munn admitted to becoming angry with Simpson during a dispute over money he allegedly owed Simpson. The situation escalated to the point that Munn shot Simpson in the neck, a wound that caused Simpson’s death.
The altercation took place Nov. 24 on property Munn rented in the 4700 block of Peoga Road in Brown County.
The plea deal did not address how Simpson’s body ended up in an alley near downtown Indianapolis three days after the shooting.
Both parties agreed that a plea deal calling for nearly the maximum Class B felony sentence was a fair compromise.
Munn testified about the consequences of his decisions the night of the shooting.
“I deeply regret my choices,” Munn said. “I just hope someday the Simpson family will find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
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