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After son is killed in Indiana, a Findlay family seeks answers

Family of Markese Newman
Family of Markese Newman(WTVG)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:22 PM EDT
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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Members of a family from Findlay say they are living a nightmare after their loved one, 19-year-old Markese Newman died from knife wounds last month along a highway several miles northeast of Fort Wayne.

Police say Newman was stabbed by a friend he came to town with to take in a concert. Right now, that friend has been released from jail and is not currently charged with a crime.

It happened on Schwartz Road, a couple of hundred yards north of the intersection with Eby Road.

Charles Newman, the father of Markese Newman, and three of Charles Newman’s other children met us at the scene Monday.

Markese Newman and a friend, 19-year old Shane Poe, who is also from Findlay, drove to Fort Wayne on August 28 to see rapper Kevin Gates at Piere’s Entertainment Center.

In court documents, Poe told detectives they had been drinking brandy and that he was driving them home to Ohio in his girlfriend’s car when Newman became irate and they began fighting in the car.

Poe says he got punched in the eye, pulled over once when the fighting intensified, got back on the road, then pulled over again because he claimed Newman started throwing things out of the moving car.

Poe told investigators he grabbed a steak knife out of his door panel after he thought Newman had tossed his cellphone out of the vehicle.

Poe claimed he told Newman he had the knife, but the fight carried on, and in the end, Newman was stabbed. He died later at a local hospital.

Poe originally was charged with a serious felony count of aggravated battery, but in a matter of days, he was released from custody, as prosecutors said they wanted to gather more evidence before deciding how to proceed.

Charles Newman feels like Poe was not scared for his life but instead was angry about possibly losing his cellphone.

He argues Poe did not act in self-defense and he believes letting Poe go free, even if charges are eventually brought back, was the wrong thing to do.

“I don’t understand how Indiana could release you, I don’t understand how you’re not a flight risk cause you don’t even live in the state. Most of your ties are in Ohio and you’re 19 years old. I would be scared if I would be facing charges, I would be scared and I would probably leave, I don’t see how the state of Indiana doesn’t see the flight risk. ... I come here today because I’ve got to fight for my son,” Newman said.

Allen County’s Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Mike McAlexander, says someone’s residency doesn’t determine charging decisions, evidence does.

McAlexander says his office is still reviewing the case and is waiting on certain test results before making a determination on what charges against Poe, if any, are appropriate.

He would not disclose what test results are pending.

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