INDIANAPOLIS — New court documents reveal gruesome details into the murder of two men on Indianapolis’ near northeast side last month.
Thirty-year-old Dominic Patton and 35-year-old Jamel Perry were found stabbed to death in a home in the 2300 block of Adams Street on Dec. 15.
“This is something that has impacted so many people,” said Patton’s mother, Gail Philips, who shared the two men were best friends for more than a decade.
“They weren’t doing anything wrong. They went to work, they usually worked more than their 40 hours,” said Phillips. “Both of them, they always tried to encourage people, no matter what it was.”
A probable cause affidavit shows police were called to the home after a coworker and friend of Patton became concerned when he didn’t show up to work and was not answering his cell phone. Police arrived and found the victims laying on the floor in two separate bedrooms, unresponsive and suffering from trauma.
According to court documents, an autopsy revealed that one of the victims was stabbed between seven and nine times, while the other victim had been stabbed more than 100 times.
Jamie Wells, 27, of Chicago was arrested in connection with the double slaying and is facing two counts of murder.
“Any time someone loses their life, I mean your heart goes out to the family and everybody involved,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
“When you see a case like this where you have two people who lose their life under really difficult circumstances with a high degree of lethality like we saw in this case, it makes you take a step back. The thing that always stands out is what’s the nature of the relationship between the parties or what’s being alleged about what’s the relationship,” said Mears.
Court documents show Wells is known by several people as occasionally staying at Perry and Patton’s home on Adams Street.
“Clearly they would have done anything for anybody because they opened their home up to this person and this was the thanks they got for it,” said Phillips.
She shared her son, who everyone called Dom or Dee, and Perry, who was known to everyone as Buster, were both like her own family.
“For me, it wasn’t just that I lost my son, but Buster was like a kid. For me, it was like I was losing two kids,” said Phillips.
Phillips said there were times when Patton was in school or working that he couldn’t attend a family trip or barbeque.
“Even if he didn’t go on summer vacation with us, Buster would go,” said Phillips.
“This has not only torn up my family and Buster’s family. It has torn up all of these other people, and for what? For what? That’s like the million-dollar question that we will probably never have an answer to.”
Phillips said the loss is more significant than she can put into words.
“They were almost like Ying and Yang. Buster’s kind of more reserved, and very chilled and relaxed. Dee on the other hand had a very larger-than-life personality,” said Phillips.
“You almost realize that it had to happen this way because neither one of them would have been any good without the other,” fighting through tears, Phillips added. “They impacted so many lives.”
Phillips said she’s trying to comprehend why this happened. It’s a question she hopes to get an answer to, but has come to the reality she may never truly know.
“The first thing that goes through my head is, okay when you stabbed him 20 times he was probably dead,” said Phillips. “What on earth drove you to keep stabbing him over 100 times? What in the world could they have done or said to cause you to fly into such a rage?”
“You didn’t just do this once. You did this twice,” said Phillips.
She said the last time she talked with Patton was Monday night. It’s a conversation she’ll never forget.
“I said okay, well call me tomorrow night. He’s like, okay I will. I said okay, I love you,” said Phillips.
Prior to an arrest being made in the case, Phillips said Wells called her on Facebook messenger. According to court documents, a male called Phillips, asking what was happening at Patton’s residence.
“The male told her he last saw Patton a few days prior,” a probable cause affidavit read.
Court documents show that investigators were able to identify Wells as the suspect by speaking with individuals who had knowledge of his whereabouts, as well as physical evidence, video surveillance and more.
“This case, in particular, illustrates how every little piece of information is necessary in order for us to build a case to ultimately try to hold someone accountable,” said Mears. “No one was inside that house when this incident occurred so we’re never going to get a first-person account of what took place, but what we do have is a very clear and distinct timeline of what took place because members of the community came forward with information.”
Mears added, “That really put us in a position to map out the events of where people were that day, what did they physically look like, those types of pieces of information that we were able to put together that we were able to file this case.”
He said this further emphasizes the importance of community support when it comes to helping solve cases.
“It wasn’t any one person. It was the community collectively coming together with information that they had and this is everybody from bus tickets to gas stations and everybody in between working together to give us the details that we needed to be able to build this case,” said Mears.
He hopes everyone keeps in mind why it’s so important that community cooperation happens not only before an arrest is made, but as cases move throughout the judicial process.
“This case is really a great illustration of the community coming forward and being able to help us file this case. As you mentioned though, this is just the beginning of this process, so we really need to encourage the community to come together and be cooperative in the dependency of this case,” Mears said.
The case is just now beginning in how it will move through the judicial process. Phillips said people have asked her whether she would like to see prosecutors file for the death penalty.
Her answer is no. She would rather, if convicted, see her son’s killer sit behind bars for what she hopes would be the maximum sentence.
We asked Prosecutor Mears whether this case is eligible for seeking the death penalty as a punishment or seeking a sentence of life without parole, and whether this is something his office plans to push for.
“In a case like this where you do have multiple victims it’s certainly eligible for either life without parole or the death penalty, and that’s a conversation you want to have with the family on a case that qualifies,” said Mears.
The prosecutor’s office works closely with families of victims to have these discussions and let them know their options, discuss procedural and explain that this could make for a much lengthier court process. These are not decisions made without discussion with families of victims.
“When you file for something like life without parole, you really are asking a lot of the family, and you want to make sure that everybody is on board with that it is probably going to make the length of time this case is pending drag out pretty significantly,” said Mears.
Wells is set to face a judge for the first time Wednesday morning. He is currently being held without bond in Marion County.
“I hope everybody remembers that these are two people who have families who are in our community who are suffering, and not only are they suffering, but part of the reason they are grieving this loss is they know their family members suffered as well and they know what they had to endure in their final moments,” said Mears.