Indianapolis Homeowner Shoots Violent Criminal

A homeowner in Indianapolis shot and killed a repeat criminal he caught breaking into his house last week. The intruder had a long history of violent crime with multiple prison stints. Here’s the story:

Indianapolis police say they believe an Eastside homeowner fatally shot a man whom he caught breaking into his residence early Wednesday.

The dead man, Joshua Renick, 31, had a history of violent crime and had been released from prison in 2011.

The incident occurred at 2:30 a.m. in the 4200 block of East Naomi Street, east of Sherman Drive and north of Raymond Street.

Police responded to a report of gunshots, said IMPD spokesman Christopher Wilburn, and initially discovered a black Chrysler 300 parked in the middle of Naomi Street with no one inside. A homeowner — identified in a police report as Chad Heugel, 28 — then approached police and directed them to his residence, where police found an unresponsive man lying in a hallway.

A short time later, Renick was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This is an active investigation; detectives are gathering information and examining evidence,’’ according to an IMPD news release later Wednesday. “Once they have all the facts, the information will be presented to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. At this time detectives do believe this was a home invasion.’’

Renick had an extensive criminal history that included robberies and other violent crimes, according to a check of police reports.

About a year ago, on Sept. 9, 2012, Renick allegedly broke into a home in the 5000 block of Rocky Mountain Drive on the Southwestside and stole a cell phone. Renick, at that time, was wanted for criminal confinement and robbery.

Renick also had been convicted of criminal confinement, resisting law enforcement and armed robbery and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in December 2007, according to the Indiana Department of Corrections database. Less than a year later, in August 2008, Renick appealed his sentence, saying it was “inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of his offense,” according to court documents.

The Indiana Court of Appeals denied Renick’s appeal, saying he failed to establish that his sentence was inappropriate and citing his extensive criminal history that spanned four states: Texas, Florida, Virginia and Indiana.

But Renick was released in December 2011 after four years in prison; prison sentences can be reduced with credit for good behavior as well as completing a vocational or educational program. Douglas Garrison, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Correction, said Wednesday that information on Renick’s case was not immediately available.

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