FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A grieving father is still seeking justice for the death of his 19-year-old son, which happened in August.
Markese Newman, of Findlay, Ohio, was stabbed to death on Aug. 28 and the Allen County Coroner ruled his death a homicide.
“He has not always had an easy path in life, but as young as he was he was able to overcome a lot of things,” said Charles Newman, Markese’s father. “He loved being around friends and family, he loved his nieces and nephews. A lot of people loved him.”
Loved ones are now broken and pushing for the person responsible to be formally arrested and charged. Wednesday was Markese’s birthday, and to honor him, family, friends and loved ones traveled from Ohio to leave a message to the Allen County Prosecutor’s office and the Allen County Sheriff’s department.
According to court documents, in late August Markese was lying outside of a vehicle at the intersection of Schwartz and Eby Roads, northeast of Fort Wayne, bleeding. He was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition and died the following day.
At the scene, Shane Poe, 19, was arrested but was later released. Charles said the prosecutor’s office explained to him it was a technicality and that after preliminary charges there are 72-hours to either present the formal charge or to expire that preliminary charge to further the investigation.
“Any victim of a crime is bad, but in this particular situation when the victim is deceased and family members who didn’t get to pay or see the last of their loved one, [I mean] it’s difficult because they are looking for closure,” said Allen County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Troy Hershberger.
Since the case is still open and under investigation, there aren’t many details that could be released.
“I guess I feel like confinement because I wanted to scream and yell,” said Charles. “From where I live it’s like an hour and a half drive [to Fort Wayne], so there was quite a bit of time to let it set in before arriving there. It was kind of hard to understand. It was very hard not to become emotional. I guess in the moment, I had to try and be some form of voice of reasoning to my kids that were also present with me-hearing the person that stabbed him to death was going to be released that day.”
Hershberger said that cases like these can weigh down on people in his department because many are parents. He said he understands the victim’s family wanting that closure and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department tries to deliver it the best it can.
Poe told police he and Markese were in Fort Wayne for a concert and had been drinking Hennessy brandy. Poe said he was driving his girlfriend’s car on the way back to Ohio when Markese became “irate” and they began fighting in the car, according to the affidavit.
Poe showed police where Markese struck him. Poe said he pulled the car over as the fighting intensified, and Markese began throwing items from the vehicle, the affidavit said.
“Shane Poe is claiming self-defense at this time, and I understand that,” said Charles. “I don’t see how two friends get into a fight and one grabs a knife and stabs him to death. I don’t understand how you can stab an unarmed man.”
“It can be frustrating, largely frustrating when you can’t deliver that answer. You can take it personally, but at the end of the day we have to do our job, we have to do our job the best we can,” Hershberger said. “Look at in terms of one of those very large puzzles of 5-thousand pieces with the small pieces. In every investigation that we have, we try and piece that puzzle back as much as we can. Most of the time you don’t get all five thousand pieces. Some cases you might have 4,999, most cases you don’t have that, so you try to piece it back together the best you can and deliver the best case you can to the prosecutor’s office.”
WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee asked him if he had any words for Poe, Charles responded, “I am his dad, there is a lot of great pride in my name and in my family. No matter what, you can’t get away from killing one of my children,” Charles said. “I will exhaust every effort that I have, every option to make sure as best as I can that Allen County does the best that they can to make sure there is a consequence.”
Charles also thanked the group Justice, Accountability, and Victims Advocacy (JAVA). He said on days he felt he was going crazy they remind him he’s not. On the days he has to fight the most to realize that there is something left in life, they help him find purpose.
WANE 15 reached out to the prosecutor’s office for an update, they sent this statement:
The case is still under investigation and we are awaiting certain test results.Deputy Prosecutor Michael McAlexander: