INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - More than a year after Nathan Trapuzzano was gunned down just blocks from his Westside home, his mother still resents the justice system that let her son’s killer roam the streets.
“The problem with everything boils down to nobody taking responsibility for themselves anymore,” Cheryl Trapuzzano said. “They have to know the difference between right and wrong. They have to be willing to take consequences for their actions.”
An Indianapolis Star investigation last year revealed that Simeon Adams could have been locked up before Trapuzzano was killed on April 1, 2014, but he had been free for a month while awaiting a hearing on 13 probation violations, including nine violations of his house arrest.
At the time, Juvenile Court Judge Marilyn Moores expressed concerns that these violations were never brought to the attention of the court. The probation officer responsible for monitoring Adams resigned soon after Adams was arrested.
“It goes from the top of the system all the way down to us little people,” Trapuzzano told The Star. “I blame every individual who makes up the system.”
Adams, who turned 18 on May 3, has been charged with murder and other crimes in connection with Nathan’s slaying.
Adams was 16 and technically a juvenile when he allegedly pulled the trigger, but Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry filed the charges in adult court.
Trapuzzano, 24, was finishing an early morning walk when prosecutors say Adams tried to rob him in the 3500 block of West 16th Street.
Adams, according to a probable cause affidavit, pulled a handgun and ordered Trapuzzano to remove his clothing. Adams, the court records say, pulled the trigger as Trapuzzano reached for his shoes.
Trapuzzano died from a single gunshot to the abdomen.
Grainy surveillance video from a camera at the Tron Tire Shop shows Nathan holding his hands out while a suspect raises an arm and points.
The video image is too far away, the quality too poor, to tell with certainty if the suspect is holding a gun.
But a witness said Adams had a gun.
A young man told police he was with Adams and standing about nine feet away when he saw Adams “holding the handgun out with his right hand and shoot(ing) Trapuzzano,” according to the records.
The young man was never charged in connection with Trapuzzano’s shooting but is expected to testify against Adams.
Marion Superior Court Judge Sheila Carlisle has yet to rule on a defense request for a change of venue. Adams’ lawyers, Adam Lenkowsky and Kenneth Roberts, say media reports in this high-profile case make it impossible for Adams to receive a fair trial in Marion County.
Adams’ trial is scheduled to start July 27. Lenkowsky said there’s a chance one side or another would ask to postpone the trial date.
Adams was charged with murder, attempted robbery and unlawfully possessing a firearm, plus a five-year enhancement related to committing a felony with a firearm. He could receive 130 years in prison if convicted.
He also is charged with attempted murder and other crimes in the shooting of a teen on March 30, 2014.
“There’s still a lot of anger. I don’t think we’re ever going to get over the anger,” Trapuzzano said.
Source: The Indianapolis Star, https://indy.st/1H1SHKw
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.