White found guilty in death of Amy Meyer White
It took a Wells County jury five and a half hours to find Tyler White guilty in the death of his estranged wife, Amy Meyer White, at a trial in Wells Circuit Court.
The verdict was rendered at 7:05 p.m. on Monday evening following a trial that had begun on Sept. 26.
White was charged in the death of Meyer White which occurred in a shooting at 0649 East 100 South in Wells County on Oct. 27, 2009 at 9 a.m.
At the time, Wells County Sheriff Department officials arrived at the scene and found Meyer White laying on the garage floor with two bullet wounds in her chest and their son, Max, by her side.
Meyer White was immediately taken to Bluffton Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. White was taken into custody at the Wells County Jail where he remained in custody. At the time, Wells County Judge David Hanselman ordered that White be held without bond.
In addition, Meyer White was pregnant at the time. Tuesday morning, the same jury also convicted White on charges of terminating the life of the unborn child. Wells County Prosecutor Mike Lautzenheiser had said earlier that he had filed for an, "adhancement," which meant that if White was convicted for the death of Meyer White, the jury could rule on the possibility that the same action that caused the death of Meyer White also caused the death of the unborn child.
Following five days of testimony, the jury went to deliberation at 1:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. They returned to the courtroom that evening with a unanimous verdict, convicting White of the charges. Their decision concerning the unborn child was made in a half session on Tuesday morning and was also unanimous.
Lautzenheiser had said that the punishment for murder is a fixed term of 45 to 65 years, with an advisory sentence of 55 years.
The courtroom was quiet as the jury entered with the verdict at 7:05 p.m. Prior to the jury's return; Special Judge Brian Hutchison of Jay County had instructed the gallery as to their response concerning the judgment.
"This is a tragic case," said Hutchison. "I realize that there are two camps here. I commend you for the way that you have conducted yourselves this week.
"Some people here will want to cheer the verdict; some people will want to complain about the verdict," continued Hutchison. "If you wish to cheer or you wish to complain, do so outside the courthouse. Anyone with an inappropriate response will be cited for contempt of court."
Following the reading of the unanimous conclusion of guilty, Hutchison polled the jury for a verbal response concerning the verdict.
After the trial, Mike White, Amy White's father, said, "We're glad we got through this point. We've been waiting for this for about two years. We're glad it's here.
"There have been a lot of people praying for us," continued Meyer. "A lot of people have told us that. We wanted the truth to be told; we wanted it to be heard. It is so evident that that happened."
"I feel so relieved," said family member Paul Wickey. "I am so happy to see justice here. I was a little worried, but I am so glad that justice was served."
Mike Meyer noted that his grandson Max has currently been under a temporary placement with Trent (Tyler's brother) and Stephanie White. However, he indicated that his family intends to seek permanent custody of Max.
"We feel that Max belongs with us; we have felt that way all along," stated Meyer. "Under the circumstances, we don't feel that he should be with the family of his convicted murderer father. There may be some issues that have to be dealt with. We feel that can be done better through our family."
"We want to thank the prosecution team of Mike Lautzenheiser and Andy Carnell for doing one heck of a job in all of this," said Meyer. "They just totally dominated the trial on Friday. The entire prosecutor's office, including the help, did a wonderful job.
"We are also grateful for the work of Scott Holliday and detective Jim Paxton from the Wells County Sheriff Department. They were right there the morning that it happened. We are so thankful for the support and prayers of family and the entire community. You could feel the prayers throughout the trial," Meyer said.
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