A Warsaw man who fired shots during a drug deal gone bad was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbery Monday.
Russell Harty, 18, of 1306 Oriole Drive, Warsaw, appeared before Kosciusko Superior Court I Judge David Cates and was convicted for a Level 3 felony robbery charge and sentenced to seven years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Harty has accrued 369 days of actual jail time credit.
The case stems from an incident that happened around 12:45 a.m. Oct. 8, 2019, when four people traveled from Fort Wayne to meet up with Harty and Naquan Rasheed Williams, 17, formerly of 515 Sophie Lane, Warsaw, to sell them 2 ounces of marijuana. The group met up in the area of Husky Trail and Nature View Drive in an apartment complex area.
Warsaw police responded to the area after 911 received calls of gunshots, and police stopped a vehicle they caught leaving the area as they were responding. The four people in that vehicle included a juvenile; Alexander Thomas Clowser, 18, of Fort Wayne; Holly Nicole Adams, 18, of Fort Wayne; and Owen R. Gerig, 18, of Fort Wayne. Also found inside the vehicle was more than 30 grams of marijuana, three glass smoking devices, $211 in cash, empty plastic bags and a drug dealing ledger.
The investigation determined that Harty pulled out a handgun and then Harty and Williams ordered the four to empty their pockets and hand over the drugs. When the group took off running, Harty fired three rounds, one of which hit Williams in the chest area and the other struck Clowser in the right tricep. At the scene, police found empty shell casings and a bag containing marijuana.
Williams and Harty fled after the incident, with Williams being taken by private vehicle to Parkview Hospital in Warsaw. He was arrested after he was treated for his injuries and charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony, and attempted theft, a Class A misdemeanor.
A month-long manhunt for Harty led police to Elkhart, where Harty was apprehended hiding in a home. He was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony; aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony; criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, a Level 6 felony; and attempted theft, a Class A misdemeanor.
Adams was arrested Jan. 14 and charged with dealing in marijuana in an amount in excess of 30 grams, a Level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
Clowser was arrested in March and charged with dealing in marijuana in an amount in excess of 30 grams, a Level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
Police are still looking for Gerig.
In court Monday, Kosciusko County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz said there’s no victims of Harty’s crimes present in the courtroom to testify because “everyone who is a victim in this crime is a drug dealer involved in crime.”
“I want to apologize to the families of all involved and to those who lived in the area. I’m sure they were all pretty scared,” Harty told Cates. “And to my family. They didn’t deserve it.”
Harty told the judge he knows he’s screwed up again but vowed to take advantage of programs while incarcerated to help him be a better person upon his release so he can care for his child that was recently born.
“What concerns me is what you just told me,” Cates said. “That you messed up again. I believe you’re better than this. You keep making bad choices, and I’m sorry you do.”