Murder, armed robbery charges dismissed against 2 Terre Haute men as authorities examine new evidence

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Charges have been dismissed against two out of three arrested in an August homicide in Terre Haute; however, the Vigo County prosecutor said the case is “not even close to being over with.”

Shane Johnson and Jeffrey Recupido were both scheduled for trial next week to face charges stemming from an armed robbery that resulted in the death of a Dwayne French of Terre Haute.

According to Prosecutor Terry Modesitt, authorities received new evidence in the case that needs to be reviewed.

“Within the last two to three weeks, we received some new evidence on these cases that needs to be more thoroughly investigated going forward before we’ll be in a position to determine whether, you know, when charges can be refiled or what we’re going to do going forward as far as a trial, etc.,” Modesitt said.

“Charges may very well be dropped against a 3rd party too,” Modesitt said.

Terre Haute Police originally arrested Johnson, Recupido and Loghan Morris following an investigation into an armed robbery that occurred in the 1300 block of Ash Street on Aug. 21, 2020.

The victim, Dwayne French, told police he was struck in the head with a blunt object as he was leaving his home around 6 a.m. that morning. The attacker took his wallet containing around $1,500.

Police said the French lost consciousness during the interview and was transported to Methodist Hospital for treatment of injuries including a broken skull and brain bleed. He later died as a result of his injuries.

According to court records, neighbors were able to give police a description of the attackers, and investigators also learned the three suspects had been “bragging” about the attack.

Modesitt noted that charges are eligible to be re-filed against Johnson and Recupido. “We dismissed the charges without prejudice so what that means is they can be refiled at any point, and the reason you have to do that and handle a case in that manner is just because of possible double jeopardy issues and there are different criminal rules that require when someone is charged with a crime you have to bring them to a trial within a certain time period.”

As of Friday morning charges including armed robbery and murder were still pending against Morris. Her trial is scheduled to begin in August.

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