MUNCIE, Ind. — A judge sentenced a man to 50 years in prison for a deadly 2018 shooting outside a Muncie gas station.
In October, a jury deliberated for more than six hours before finding 29-year-old Armon Edwards guilty of murder, voluntary manslaughter, attempted robbery and criminal recklessness in connection with the shooting that killed 28-year-old Jordan Rowe on Oct. 7, 2018.
The voluntary manslaughter and attempted robbery charges were merged with the murder count to avoid “substantive double jeopardy.”
According to court documents, Edwards and Rowe had been involved in an altercation at a gas station. Both men had guns; surveillance video showed Edwards approaching Rowe, leading to a struggle. Edwards and Rowe each fired their weapons; Edwards was shot once in the chest while Rowe was shot three times.
Edwards got into his SUV and left as Rowe lay dying in the parking lot.
In the sentencing order, the judge noted that “Rowe and his associates” had fired shots at the Edwards on two separate occasions in the past. It was clear that there was bad blood between the two men.
Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. wrote in the sentencing order that Rowe “engaged in general harassment and over acts of terror” toward Edwards and “likely provoked” him when they saw each other at the convenience store.
“Jordan Rowe did not deserve to die,” the judge wrote, “but the reckless decisions that he made to put himself in a position for the events of the early morning hours of October 7, 2018, to play out were avoidable and should not be ignored.”
Rowe’s actions didn’t “minimize nor excuse” Edwards’ actions, which led to a “senseless and tragic death,” the judge wrote.
Cannon noted that Edwards had three separate juvenile offenses as well as two prior misdemeanors as an adult. He pointed out that Edwards fled the crime scene after shooting Rowe and attempted to eliminate evidence. Had he not been shot during the encounter and required medical attention, “the facts appear that the defendant was attempting to hide to avoid apprehension.”
When weighing the various factors, including Edwards’ lengthy history of substance abuse–he claimed he was under the influence at the time of the incident–Cannon sentenced Edwards to 50 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
Edwards was given credit for time already served since his 2018 arrest as well as additional good time credit totaling more than 2,100 days. He planned to appeal his sentence.