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A local teen, who was charged with Murder last week, was appointed a public defender by the Miami Circuit Court this morning via a video-conference hearing.

Rannin A. Shuler, 18, 449 W. Fifth Street, remains in the Miami County Jail without bond, but was appointed a public defender this morning by Judge Tim Spahr of the Miami County Circuit Court.

Shuler had appeared before Judge Spahr last Thursday via video-conference for an initial hearing. At that time, Judge Spahr expressed concern that Shuler had not hired an attorney at that time.

““You could miss important deadlines and ultimately waive some very important rights later on down the line,” Spahr explained in that hearing. 

Today when Spahr asked Shuler if he had retained council, he made a decision to appoint public council immediately when Shuler responded he had not.

“This court is mindful that there are certain deadlines and the court is going to appoint a public defender,” Spahr said.
Spahr said unless Shuler’s new council requested some special hearing, the next appearance in court for this case will be the pre-trial hearing scheduled for January 23,2014.

Additionally today, Peru Miami News obtained a copy of the probable cause affidavit from the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, which is the sworn document submitted to the Miami County Circuit Court to obtain a warrant to charge and arrest Shuler in this case.

In this two-page document submitted by Peru Police Department Detective Jeff Grant it becomes clear that numerous people were involved in the incident that ultimately claimed the life of Brayton Kelsor, 19, Peru, and injured both Dominick J. Tyler, 19, Peru, and Shuler, on December 1, 2013.

The 911 call came into the Miami County Central Dispatch Center at 2:24 a.m. December 1, 2013 and reported several subjects had been stabbed at 57 E. Sixth Street. When officers from the Peru Police Department arrived, along with Miami County EMS, they learned that Kelsor, Shuler and Tyler all had injuries as a result of an altercation at that location and all had to be transported to Dukes Memorial Hospital for their injuries.

According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Detective Grant told the court he was notified by officers on the scene around 2:30 a.m.

At 2:45 a.m. when Grant arrived at 57 E. Sixth Street, officers notified him “Several subjects had sustained injuries during an apparent argument.” After learning who those subjects were, Grant reported he was taken to the upstairs apartment at that location and observed “a large amount of blood throughout the apartment.”

Grant said he then proceeded to Dukes ER, “arriving at about 3 a.m. … where he was directed to the examination rooms where the injured men were being treated and learned from ER Personnel that Kelsor had just been pronounced dead.”

The PC continued to say, “Shuler, who appeared to have suffered an injury to his right hand and had it heavily wrapped, stated he had been in an altercation, but had no idea how anyone suffered injuries to include himself.”
Grant then proceed to talk to Tyler, at which time he noticed a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Tyler was eventually arrested and charged with being a minor consuming alcohol later that day after being treated and released.

At that time, Grant reported Tyler stated “he had also been in an altercation, but did not have any idea how he got injured. Tyler appeared to have two small cuts on his right shoulder and a cut in the lower, center part of his back.”
Grant reported in the PC Affidavit that he then returned to 57 E. Sixth Street to talk to Jeffery Harrison, 18 and Emily E. Fisher, 20, both of 57 E. Sixth Street who had been present at the time of the altercation.

“Harrison stated that he had been involved in an altercation with both Kelsor and Tyler but had no knowledge of how they were injured. Fisher stated that Harrison, Shuler, Tyler, and Kelsor had been fighting but was also not aware of how anyone was injured.”

Grant instructed officers to start taking witnesses to the Peru Police Department for statements when he learned Shuler wanted to speak to him about the incident, so Grant went to Shuler at the Orthopedic Hospital in Fort Wayne.

After being read his rights and been sworn in Shuler told Grant, “he and Jeffery Harrison had been involved in an altercation with Dominick Tyler and Brayton Kelsor. He advised that he saw no one with a knife and did not know how anyone was injured including himself.”

Around 9 a.m. Grant advised Shuler officers would be staying with him while he continued to be at the hospital due to him “being a suspect in this altercation.

“Upon hearing this, Shuler advised me he wished to speak to an attorney,” Grant said in the PC. Grant reported due to Shuler being a suspect, he stayed with him through his surgery on his hand. He also reported he later obtained a search warrant to seize Shuler’s clothing and for a DNA sample from Shuler.

Another officer was assigned to stay with Shuler for the duration of his hospital stay.

Meanwhile, the PC stated that a statement was taken from a juvenile who had witnessed the altercation.

“He advised that he had witnessed the altercation and that Brayton Kelsor had cut Shuler on the right had and that Shuler had then stabbed Kelsor in the torso area.” That same juvenile made a later statement on December 2nd in which he told Grant “he had tried to protect Shuler in his earlier statements. He also added that he did not see Brayton Kelsor with a knife during this altercation and that he did witness Shuler stab him in the torso area.”

In his earlier statement, the juvenile also reportedly told Grant that “he and (a second juvenile) had left the residence after the altercation with Shuler following them to the area of the Y.M.C.A. He then advised that Shuler asked (the second juvenile) to dispose of a knife, with (the second juvenile) refusing. (The second juvenile also advised detectives that Shuler had asked him to dispose of an object near this location, but could not be sure it was a knife.”

Grant then reported later in the afternoon on December 1st he was contacted by officers from the PPD who had located a “black folding knife” behind the residence at 57 E. Sixth Street. “The knife was collected by the Indiana State Police Crime Scene Lab.”

Grant said he later video-taped a statement from Tyler while he was in the Miami County Jail in which “Tyler stated to have been involved in this altercation and that he believed Shuler to have stabbed him in the back but was not aware of how he was cut on his shoulder. Tyler stated he believed it was Shuler due to his location during this fight.”

Judge Tim Spahr approved the probable Cause Affidavit on December 2, 2013 at 7:29 p.m. which allowed Shuler to be arrested and charged with Murder, a felony; Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Class C felony; Obstruction of Justice, a Class D felony; and False Informing, a Class B Misdemeanor.

It is important to remember that just because someone is arrested and charged with crimes does not mean they are guilty of a crime. All people arrested and charged of a crime should be considered innocent until and unless they are convicted of those crimes in a court of law by a judge or a jury of their peers.

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