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Suspect’s Surprise Guilty Plea Ends Jury Trial Early

Posted On January 18, 2018

By Mike Perleberg

Shawn Elam. Photo by Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Dearborn County jury trial came to an abrupt end when the domestic violence suspect decided to plead guilty.

Shawn Elam, 31, was on trial this week for a February 2017 domestic violence incident, according to a news release from Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens. With a third day of testimony about to begin Thursday, Elam opted to plead guilty to charges of Criminal Confinement Resulting in Bodily Injury (level 5 felony) and Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury (level 5 felony).

During Wednesday’s portion of the trial, jurors heard testimony from the 22-year-old female victim.

“She described to the jury a night of domestic violence against her in February 2017, which continued over several hours, during which time she was prevented from leaving her residence, and battered multiple times, at one point being strangled until losing consciousness,” Deddens said.

Elam faces a potential sentence of one up to six years on each of the two charges he has pleaded to. Judge Sally McLaughlin will schedule the sentencing within 30 days.