Man involved in fatal K-9 crash appears in court

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The man accused of crashing into a Whitley County deputy’s car with a K-9 patrol dog inside appeared in court Monday.

Clarence Shearer, 31, Fort Wayne, had a hearing in Allen County on charges unrelated to last week’s fiery crash on U.S. 30 that killed K-9 Cas.

Prior to the crash, Shearer was wanted for domestic battery and strangulation related to an incident in Fort Wayne on February 27, 2019.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Shearer and his girlfriend got into an argument that turned physical. Shearer’s girlfriend told police he grabbed her by the neck with both hands at one point and pushed her onto the bed.

When she fought back and tried to get away, Shearer punched her in the face, giving her a black eye, according to the girlfriend’s first-hand account.

She told officers Shearer also punched her in the back of the head, where she had previously had a piece of her skull removed from a brain surgery.

Medics responded to the scene, but the woman refused treatment, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Officers also noticed cuts and bruises on Shearer. His girlfriend told police they were from another physical altercation she had with Shearer just two days prior.

She said she cut Shearer with a kitchen knife to defend herself after he grabbed her by the neck and began strangling her.

That incident was not initially reported to police.

During the course of the investigation on February 27, officers discovered Shearer had a previous conviction for battery and decided to arrest him for strangulation, domestic battery with a prior battery conviction, and misdemeanor domestic battery.

Shearer has a lengthy criminal history going back to 2008, including multiple felony convictions.

Some of the most noteworthy felony convictions include:

  • 2008 – Criminal Confinement
  • 2009 – Receiving Stolen Property
  • 2011 – Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon
  • 2015 – Failure to Register as a Sex or Violent Offender

Shearer has been incarcerated at the Allen County Jail since getting out of the hospital after crashing into a police car during a multi-county pursuit last Wednesday, July 10.

READ MORE | Driver ID’d in fiery Whitley County crash that killed K9 along US 30

The Whitley County Prosecutor’s Office has not yet filed separate charges against Shearer in relation to the crash.

According to a statement from Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler, his office is working closely with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, and authorities in Marshall and Kosciusko counties to investigate the incident before filing charges.

Because the suspect is already off the street, it is my intention to be as thorough, methodical and careful as possible in the investigative phase to ensure that justice is done. I want to make certain that we hold those responsible for Cas’s death to account. This is critically important for our Whitley Co. community and, perhaps most importantly, for the law enforcement family that has just lost an outstanding officer.

D.J. Sigler, Whitley County Prosecuting Attorney

Cas, the K-9 patrol dog killed in the crash, will be honored during a memorial service Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the First Church of God, 1200 W. Depoy Drive in Columbia City. It will be open to the public.

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