INDIANAPOLIS — The prosecution and defense in the trial regarding the murder of Chris Beaty have both rested their cases and the jury is now in deliberation.

Beaty was shot and killed in downtown Indianapolis on May 30, 2020, during riots that erupted after a protest in response to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He was a former football player at Indiana University and a beloved Indy businessman.

Beaty had just sent texts to a friend that he was checking the perimeter of his apartment building to make sure his neighbors were safe the night he was killed. For more background on Beaty’s shooting death, click here.

In the minutes before those text messages, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigators discovered a group of four men and one woman was roaming the vicinity of Delaware, Michigan, Vermont and Talbott Streets, pointing and firing guns and committing armed robberies.

That same group was the subject of an IMPD release looking to identify armed robbers that included a video of five people robbing a woman in a white Volvo in an Indy parking garage.

IMPD said that four of the five suspects in that video have since been identified as Alijah Jones, Dorian Murrell, Nakeyah Shields and Marcus Anderson while one remains unidentified three years later.

Three of the four identified suspects now face robbery and murder charges in relation to Beaty’s death. The fourth identified suspect, Dorian Murrell, was shot and killed the same night as Beaty during another alleged armed robbery downtown.

The trial against the remaining identified suspects, Jones, Shields and Anderson, began on Monday. After jury selection and initial statements on Day 1, evidence was presented.

Day 2

On Day 2 of the trial, tears and gasps of pain filled the courtroom when a crime scene technician testified. Pictures of Beaty dead in the alley where he was found were shown.

Beaty’s face was shown in a pool of blood and bullet wounds were evident. His mother, Debra, was escorted out as her emotions were uncontrollable.

Then later in the day, after more than 7 people testified, a family member of one of the suspects threatened a witness. The judge cleared the courtroom and called the defendant’s family back in to have a word with them. 

The judge then allowed the witness to give testimony without the public present.

As the second day dragged into the night, two IMPD detectives testified.

One detective was able to identify Marcus Anderson as a suspect because he was at the hospital when suspect Dorian Murrell was shot. Suspect Alijah Jones, the IMPD detective said, was also present at the hospital. Anderson, the detective said, told him Murrell was his brother.

One IMPD detective that testified then said that if Dorian Murrell was still alive today, he would also be on trial for Beaty’s murder.

Day 3

IMPD’s release of a video allegedly showing Anderson, Jones and Shields involved in an armed robbery the night of Beaty’s death was heavily covered on the trial’s third day Wednesday.

The video capturing the robbery was shown in court and investigators claimed that the female seen wearing a multi-colored jacket was Nakeyah Shields.

Then, when presenting evidence, the alleged same multi-color jacket was revealed to have been found inside Murrell and Jones’ apartment. A pair of black Adidas track pants and black shoes allegedly worn by Jones were also recovered from the apartment after police got a tip that she and Murrell were suspects.

The woman who was robbed in the video also testified, telling the jury that the group stole her cell phone, wallet and makeup bag. She also said that one suspect, who did not have a gun in his hand, held her by her shirt collar for a while and that she got a good look at him.

In August of 2020, the woman picked Marcus Anderson out of a lineup as the man involved. On Wednesday, she was very reluctant to point him out in the courtroom.

Eventually, the woman stood up and pointed him out. She said it was a very uncomfortable moment because she felt bad for everyone involved, even the people that robbed her. She then left the court with tears streaming down her face.

Another young woman then testified that she and her friend were also robbed by the same group of suspects at gunpoint. She described a gunshot fired by her head as she was made to get on the ground with her friend.  

The witness said she and her friend then got down on their stomachs next to another group of five people also being held at gunpoint and robbed near Vermont and Talbott streets. 

After she was robbed, the woman said the suspects ran away and that she heard at least three gunshots moments later. She then looked down the nearby alley and saw a dead body in the same area where Beaty was found killed just after 11:35 p.m.

The defense attorneys in the trial continued to argue how chaotic of a night it was during the riots. Attorneys representing Shields also focused on where the female in the video was standing and if there was even a female involved as one witness said they didn’t see a woman.

After testimonies, attorneys for the suspects spent more than 20 minutes fighting for some photos to not be allowed in as evidence. Eventually, two photos out of 10+ were not allowed but were discussed aloud.

After this, detectives and forensics experts testified that Beaty last sent a Snapchat at 11:35 p.m., although the contents of the Snapchat were not provided.

From 5 to 8 p.m., testimony from IMPD officers discussed phone data, not pinging, that can be used to track where a phone was when it sends texts or accesses an app.

The phones of Shields, Jones and Anderson place all three suspects in the area of the alley around the time of Beaty’s death, IMPD said. It also shows that the suspects met at Jones’ residence after the homicides.

Day 4

Day 4 of the trial began at 9 a.m. Thursday and the prosecution and defense had rested their cases before lunch.

During the day, IMPD detectives went through Facebook messages sent between the suspects after Beaty’s death. Police claimed the suspects were discussing the murder and showed each suspect’s profile picture to the courtroom.

Police also testified that the ballistics recovered from Beaty’s body matched the bullets that were fired into cars during the armed robberies caught on video.

Furthermore, two videos were shown to the court. The first video was taken from an Instagram Live that captured Murrell’s death. In that video you can see Murrell’s distinct teal underwear that prosecutors said matched the underwear seen on a man in other armed robbery videos.

In the second video, also taken from Instagram around the time of Murrell’s death, the prosecution argued that you can now see Marcus Anderson wearing the same multi-colored jacket that was seen in the armed robbery videos and found in Murrell and Jones’ apartment.

The family members of Beaty present in the courtroom reportedly thought that the evidence provided was very damning.

The sitting jury in the trial has now begun deliberations and has not returned a verdict as of 8 p.m. Thursday.