ELKHART — The Indiana Supreme Court has overturned murder convictions for three of four Elkhart teens.
The teens, including Blake Layman, then 16, Levi Sparks, then 17, Jose Quiroz, then 16, along with Danzele Johnson, 21, broke into the home of a neighbor of Quiroz, while Anthony Sharp, then 18, stayed behind to act as a lookout.
The homeowner, whom the teens mistakenly believed to be away, awoke and came downstairs, firing on the teens, hitting Johnson and Layman. Johnson died of his injuries.
The teens, nicknamed “The Elkhart Four,” were convicted of murder in Johnson’s death. They were sentenced to prison, Layman and Sharp each to 55 years and Sparks to 50 years. It was these three convictions that were appealed and overturned.
Quiroz, who pled guilty to murder charges, was not eligible to appeal.
This does not mean, however, that the teens will go free. Their case has been remanded and the teens charged with class B felony burglary.