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Aaron Schaffer Found Not Guilty Of Murder
Updated March 16, 2015 5:49 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMFIELD) - Aaron L. Schaffer of Linton, was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Michael Shan Bowers last April.

He was found guilty of carrying a firearm without a concealed carry permit, a class A misdemeanor.

The Greene County Daily News reports that tension was high in the crowded courtroom on Friday evening when the verdicts were announced.

At least five Indiana State Police Troopers were positioned in the courtroom along with at least six deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Department in addition to courthouse security personnel in the building.

Clearly shaken and stunned by the decisions, the victim's family and friends exited the courtroom abruptly as soon as the first two verdicts were read by Greene Circuit Court Judge Erik C. Allen.

Defense Attorney Katharine Liell requested an immediate sentencing on the misdemeanor charge and Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw agreed. 33-year-old Schaffer was sentenced to one year in jail and since he has been incarcerated without bond since his arrest at the time of the shooting, he has more than served his time. His sentencing included a $1 fine and court costs.

Following the sentencing, Schaffer was to return to the Greene County Jail to be processed out to be reunited with his family and supporters.

When Schaffer was interviewed by detectives the night of the shooting, he admitted he did not have a license to carry a gun and he admitted he shot and killed Bowers, his brother-in-law, but says he shot Bowers in self-defense.

Police say Schaffer went to Bower's Linton home and was told to leave. 48-year-old Bower, who was unarmed, was shot five times with a .357 Taurus revolver, resulting in seven wounds including two to the back of the head.

The trial began early Monday morning with jury selection. Witness testimony began on Tuesday morning and continued through Thursday. When court reconvened on Friday morning, closing arguments were presented, they were given instructions by the judge and began deliberations around noon. They reached their verdict around 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Schaffer admitted to shooting and killing Bower, but the jury had to decide if Schaffer acted in self-defense.

Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw told jurors that Schaffer arrived at Bowers' home unannounced, brought a gun and refused to leave after being asked to several times.

He added that Bowers did not have a weapon and Schaffer continued to shoot after Bowers was down. Holtsclaw argued that Schaffer used more force than was necessary to eliminate any threat.

But Defense attorney Katharine Liell told the jury said Schaffer knew Shan Bowers had killed another man out of jealousy, had beaten his wife, did drugs and drank alcohol, and had become increasingly unstable in the weeks prior to the shooting.

She claims Schaffer had a split second to make a decision and it was reasonable to think Bowers would kill him because he'd killed a man before.

The defense claimed Schaffer had an invitation from Stacy to go to the Bowers home because she had asked for help and wanted someone to go with her to smooth things over with her husband.

Schaffer left Stacy at the station to minimize risk --he left her there as a precaution. She told the jury Schaffer tried to be a peacemaker and was a man of reason that night. She testified that Bowers put Schaffer in a darned if you do and darned if you don't position and Schaffer protected himself.

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