Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fort Branch, IN: UPDATE: Police: Gibson County man shot, killed ex-girlfriend's dad

 — An apparent upset former boyfriend is suspected in the killing of his girlfriend’s father Wednesday evening in Fort Branch, Ind., after first targeting the woman’s new boyfriend, authorities said.
Austin T. Blaize, 23, was arrested about an hour after the incident faces a preliminary murder charge stemming from the death of 47-year-old Terry Moiner
According to Indiana State Police, authorities from several law enforcement agencies responded to a 911 call about a reported altercation at a home in the 7800 block of County Road 45 East in Fort Branch at about 7 p.m.
State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle said the address is a home shared by Moiner, the daughter and the woman’s two young children. According to Ringle, Blaize is the father of the two children.
Ringle said investigators believe that Blaize, a Francisco, Ind., resident, saw the woman’s new boyfriend at the address and tried to first fire the gun at him, but for an unknown reason it did not fire.
Blaize was then involved in a “very brief altercation” with others at the residence before firing the weapon again. As of Thursday morning, Ringle said investigators were trying to determine Monier’s specific involvement in that incident.
“That’s when the father who was in a recliner, he gets up to see what was going on. That’s when (Blaize) starts to basically back out of the house and flee, but as he’s backing out of the house, he fires several more times and that’s one of those rounds struck the father.”
Monier was taken to Deaconesses Hospital in Evansville but later died from his injuries Wednesday night.
Ringle said the two children were at the residence at the time of the incident, but not in the immediate area when the shots were fired. No one else was injured in the incident.
Blaize fled the area but was apprehended at his grandmother’s residence in Francisco and taken to jail without further incident around 8 p.m. As of Thursday morning, authorities are still searching for the weapon believed to be used during the incident.
“It’s important to put that out because of someone is doing yard work today or walking or exercising, it is important not to touch it and call 911 immediately,” Ringle said. “There is a (large) area where it could be.”
Though the investigation is still ongoing, Ringle said police believe they have enough evidence to justify the murder charge against Blaize. Any formal charges will be filed by the Gibson County Prosecutor’s Office. Ringle said a deputy prosecutor was at the scene Wednesday night.
“The decision last night was for murder,” Ringle said, “that can always change, but as of right now, he is being charged with murder.”

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