Man makes initial court appearance following Indiana block party shooting that killed 1, wounded 17

Aug 8, 2023, 10:44 AM

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A 36-year-old central Indiana man has made his initial appearance Tuesday in court following a shooting at a massive block party that left one person dead and 17 others wounded.

John L. Vance Jr. officially heard aggravated battery, criminal recklessness and gun charges against him in a Delaware County courtroom.

Vance entered a not guilty plea and told a judge he intended to hire his own attorney. He remains jailed on a $105,000 bond.

Shots were fired as hundreds of people attended the July 30 block party in Muncie, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis. Joseph E. Bonner III was fatally shot.

The shooting occurred as police were calling the venue’s owner to shut down the gathering, authorities have said.

Police were aware that the owner of a business that periodically rents out space for events was hosting a block party that got “out of control,” with between 500 and up to 1,000 in attendance, Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan has said.

Vance was arrested Aug. 1. He has not been charged in the death of Bonner, 30, of Muncie. Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman told WTHR-TV following Tuesday’s hearing that the investigation is ongoing.

Hoffman on Monday filed a felony firearm sentencing enhancement against Vance. The sentencing enhancement can add an additional five to 20 years to his total sentence if he is convicted, Hoffman said.

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