Inmate tied to 2012 deadly beating of man pleads guilty to robbery

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An inmate at the Indiana State Prison has admitted to robbing a man at a Broadway antiques store in an altercation that left the man dead.

Zachery A. Doan pleaded guilty to Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury during a hearing in Allen Superior Court Friday morning. The plea came through an agreement with Allen County prosecutors that will drop additional charges of Murder and Felony Murder.

BACKGROUND:

It was Dec. 31, 2012, when J.R. Shimer II was found face down in the Antiques on Broadway stop at 1115 Broadway in Fort Wayne. A probable cause affidavit said he had suffered a “massive blood loss,” and a blunt object was found near his body, covered in blood.

An autopsy found Shiner died of blunt force trauma.

Two months later, in March 2013, police spoke with a witness who said Doan had told her daughter he committed the murder. She said Doan wanted to go to the Roller Dome that New Year’s Eve but he didn’t have any money, but then showed up at the skating center later “and he now had money, and was wearing different clothes,” the affidavit said.

Doan reportedly told her he hit a man once and had to drag him to another area, the affidavit said.

Another witness told police Doan had admitted he “killed somebody” at the Broadway antiques store. That witness said Doan told her he’d “put something over the man’s head and hit him in the back of the head,” hard enough that “he could hear the man’s skull cracking,” the affidavit said.

She said Doan told her he hit the man with a thick stick with a rock attached to it, then stole coins worth “like twenty-something dollars,” the affidavit said.

One more witness said Doan admitted to him, too, that he’d killed the man at the antiques store. According to the affidavit, that witness said Doan asked for money out of the cash register and the victim refused to provide it, so Doan “picked something up and started to beat him,” the affidavit said.

The witness said Doan said he then ran out of the store and went home and changed clothes, the affidavit said.

The witness said Doan told him, “You know that place on Broadway where that old man died? I’m the one that did that,” the affidavit said. Doan reportedly told the witness “blood was flying everywhere,” and he made off with “$15 or something like that,” the affidavit said.

Police interviewed Doan in November 2014 at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, but he told investigators he “don’t know anything about that,” the affidavit said. Witnesses reportedly told police that Doan had been having nightmares about the killing.

One inmate at the Westville Correctional Facility told police in January 2016 that Doan admitted to the killing to him, the affidavit said, and in April 2016, police received a Crime Stoppers tip that said Doan had admitted to the killing while at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. That same month, another witness said Doan admitted he “killed the guy at the antique store by beating him with some type of hammer,” the affidavit said.

The witness said Doan “did not appear to care about the homicide and would laugh about how he had not been caught,” the affidavit said.

Doan is currently serving a 50-year sentence at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City for 2014 Robbery and Burglary convictions and was set to be released in 2049.

Doan’s sentence for this new robbery case will run consecutive to the time he’s currently serving. He’ll be sentenced March 30.

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