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Madison County Prosecutor open to out-of-county jury in case against alleged cop killer

Noah Shahnavaz carnation
Posted at 11:50 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 12:03:24-04

ANDERSON — The Madison County Prosecutor has responded to a request by the accused killer of an Elwood police officer to have the trial held in another county on grounds of potential jury bias.

Prosecutor Rodney Cummings has said he wants the case to be tried in Madison County but is open to a jury from another county weighing the evidence against Carl Roy Webb Boards II, a source tells WRTV Investigates.

It comes after Boards' attorneys filed a motion for a change of venue which claims he wouldn't be able to have a fair trial in Madison County in the case alleging he killed Officer Noah Shahnavaz.

Boards' attorneys will present their reasoning for the motion during a pretrial conference scheduled Sept. 30 at Madison Circuit Court 3. Also during that hearing, a judge will hear Boards' objection to being transferred to the custody of the Indiana Department of Corrections ahead of his jury trial.

The motion for a change of venue claims Boards wouldn't be able to receive a fair trial because of "public hostility against the accused; public outrage over the offense; prejudicial news-reporting or editorializing which castigates the accused; speculative opinions as to the personality and character of the accused; disclosures of inadmissible evidence; and the existence and contents of confessions, or prior criminal records."

Cummings has said he's seek the death penalty against Boards, who, according to court documents, fired at least 36 rounds at Shahnavaz during an attempted traffic stop July 31, fatally wounding him.

Court documents also say Shahnavaz never had a chance to unholster his own gun during the encounter. Shahnavaz, 24, was an Elwood police officer of 11 months and a five-year army veteran.

During an investigation, police discovered Boards was known to carry a handgun and had recorded songs in which he said, "if he was ever caught by police that he would kill them," documents allege.

Boards is charged with one count each of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and two counts each of resisting law enforcement.

Records show Boards has several previous criminal convictions, including attempted murder stemming from a 2006 encounter with police.