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UPDATE (May 4, 2023): Derrick Mann pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The murder charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to 15 years, with 10 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and 5 years suspended. He’ll spend 4 years on probation. Mann was given credit for time served.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indianapolis man is facing a murder charge after being arrested in connection with the death of his wife.

Prosecutors claim the suspect, Derrick Mann, killed his wife last month.

From an upstairs bedroom of a duplex on Euclid Avenue on Indianapolis’ east side, Mann called 911 in January and claimed his wife shot herself during an argument. Police arrested the 23-year-old suspect after the coroner ruled the victim had been shot in the back of the head.

Derrick Mann

Prosecutors claim Mann’s wife, Sinthia Costa, lived in Maryland and came to the east side home just 10 days earlier to try and repair the couple’s relationship.

According to court records, “Costa told her family… everyone deserved a second chance.”

Domestic violence experts believe the case is another tragic reminder about the importance of women escaping troubled relationships before they turn violent.

“There’s so much shame from victims thinking it’s their fault and we need to get past that because the only person responsible is the abuser,” said Kelly McBride with the Domestic Violence Network.

McBride encourages anyone struggling with domestic problems to seek help from abuse counselors or friends and family.

“If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. There’s so many people out there to help you,” said McBride.

In this case, while being questioned by police about what happened inside the home, Mann repeatedly insisted his wife committed suicide.

Yet in the affidavit the victim’s father alleges, “Sinthia cried a lot when she spoke with her family about her relationship… including past incidents where Derrick was controlling.” The father added, “The family would ask Sinthia questions about her relationship but she was reluctant to answer.”

Experts say that situation is sad, but unfortunately not unique.

“Domestic violence often doesn’t start as physical violence. It starts as emotional and verbal violence. That power and control is just as lethal as physical abuse,” said McBride.

Mann remains behind bars in the Marion County jail and is being held without bond.

Anyone who needs help dealing with domestic issues can always contact 211.