AP NEWS

Judge nixes bid to dismiss case

May 23, 2019

The attempted murder case against a Fort Wayne man charged in a March shooting will continue despite his attempts to have it thrown out.

Timothy L. Coats, 25, is facing three felony charges including one count of attempted murder in the March 25 shooting of Aaron Wiegand. Prosecutors also filed a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime.

Coats, who refused a public defender and is representing himself, argues in court documents someone else fired the shots that badly injured Wiegand and that a judge should toss the case. Wiegand has refused to testify and denies Coats shot him in an affidavit signed April 18. Coats refers to the claim several times in documents filed since then in Allen Superior Court.

“The state is unable to prove all elements of the crime,” a motion to dismiss the case filed April 25 states. ”(Wiegand), the injured person, does not accuse me of shooting him.”

Judge David Zent denied the motion and wrote in a separate order that prosecutors have “tablet messages” indicating Coats coached Wiegand’s statements.

“The tablet messages are sent by (Coats) informing the alleged victim what to say in (the) affidavit filed by the alleged victim,” the order states.

Wiegand sat in the passenger side of his car in the 3000 block of Adams Street about 8 p.m. March 25 when a dark-colored SUV drove up, police said. The driver of the SUV : Coats, the victim told police : pulled off a mask and fired a .45-caliber handgun into the car, according to investigators.

After surgery to repair injuries to his heart, liver and femoral artery that left him unconscious several days, Wiegand told detectives “he was nervous” because of Coats but identified him as the shooter.

Coats was arrested April 11 and refutes evidence used to charge him with attempted murder, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

In a motion for alibi defense, Coats wrote surveillance video shows he entered two cars the night of the shooting : a blue Chrysler 300 and a silver Chevy Impala : and not an SUV. Wiegand’s affidavit also is referenced.

The motion to dismiss states Coats did not have a mask or a .45-caliber handgun.

A three-day trial is scheduled for June 25.

mleblanc@jg.net

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