INDIANAPOLIS – A grand jury has indicted a Madison County man for murder following a deadly shooting last year in Castleton.
In late March 2022, police were called to a home on Timber View Drive in Castleton and found a man shot. That victim, 43-year-old J’Mel Dowdell, died after being rushed to the hospital.
“It’s just tough… it’s tough,” said Dave Macon in March 2022.
Speaking last year, the victim’s friends described Dowdell as an entrepreneur who had started a clothing and toy line called Button Nose Kidz, with the goal of uplifting youth and encouraging them to dream big.
“That’s really what he was trying to get after, pouring into the youth. Mentoring and empowering them to develop their self-image, their courage, their mindset,” said Macon.
Because the murder charge stems from a grand jury indictment, court records don’t explain many details or a motive for the killing at the duplex.
Police initially said the shooting at this home stemmed from domestic related issues.
Shortly after the homicide detectives spoke to the main suspect, 32-year-old Dominique Bryant, but he was released pending further investigation.
Sixteen months later, a grand jury handed down an indictment for murder against Bryant.
While Dowdell’s friends didn’t want to comment on camera about the court case, one local attorney not connected to the case says grand jury indictments for murder are rare.
“It’s fascinating because this is not a common occurrence,” said attorney Mario Massillamany.
When asked why the presented this case to a grand jury, a spokesman for the prosecutor sent this response:
I cannot speak to this case specifically as any facts or circumstances presented to a grand jury are confidential. However, there are a number of reasons a case can be presented to a grand jury, including but not limited to cases of potential self-defense and cases with witness issues (grand jury subpoenas, confidentiality can assist in investigations).Spokesman for the Prosecutor’s office
Whatever the reason, the case will now play out like any other murder trial.
“Other than how the charges came about, every other part of the process is the exact same as if the prosecutor filed the charges themselves,” said Massillamany.
The suspect was arrested in Anderson but is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail.
An initial trial date has been set for December.