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Man found not guilty in January fatal shooting on Indianapolis' west side

Leon Brewer released from police custody Thursday, records show
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Posted at 2:39 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 14:41:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A jury has found a man accused in a homicide earlier this year not guilty, court records show.

Leon T. Brewer, 58, was charged with felony counts of murder and carrying a handgun with a prior felony conviction — but after deliberation, jurors cleared him of wrongdoing, finding him not guilty on both counts.

Prosecutors alleged Brewer fatally shot Charles Cole, 53, in late January on the city's west side.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers found Cole wounded while responding about 11:30 p.m. Jan. 27 to the 200 block of Bertha Court for a report of a person shot. Medics later pronounced him dead at the scene.

A probable cause affidavit alleges Brewer and Cole were involved in a confrontation before the shooting.

A woman told police she was with Cole meeting a locksmith who was trying to make a new car key. The key had a chip inside that required the work of a special locksmith, according to the affidavit.

Two days before the shooting, Brewer came out of a bedroom with a gun and took the woman's purse and car keys. She was able to get away, according to the affidavit.

The woman and Cole returned to the car to meet the locksmith on Jan. 27. The affidavit says Cole began to confront Brewer about what happened when Brewer shot Cole, the affidavit alleges.

Brewer told detectives he considered Cole a friend and claimed the woman had a gun and hit him with it, the affidavit alleges.

Detectives interviewed Brewer for more than an hour. During that time, he told them that blood on his jeans may have been from a paper cut on his hand, despite detectives not seeing one, according to the affidavit.

Brewer also claimed he was not around Cole when he was shot and he didn't know the shooting occurred until after the fact, the affidavit alleges.

An autopsy showed Cole died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

An order was filed Wednesday to release Brewer from police custody. He had been held without bond awaiting trial.

Marion County Jail records show Brewer was released Thursday.

WRTV has reached out to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office for comment but has not heard back.

WRTV Real-Time Editor Michelle Kaufman contributed to this report.