INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said the March 13 quadruple homicide case on the near east side qualifies as a death penalty case.
According to court documents, Malik Halfacre, has been formally charged with eight crimes:
- Four counts of murder
- Attempted murder
- Armed robbery
- Felon carrying a handgun
- Auto theft
Halfacre made his initial appearance in court virtually on Thursday morning. Police say he told detectives he wanted his girlfriend's stimulus payment, and an argument led to him shooting her and killing four members of her family:
- 44-year-old Tomeeka Brown
- 35-year-old Anthony Johnson
- 23-year-old Dequan Moore
- 7-year-old Eve Moore
Halfacre's girlfriend, Jeanettrius Moore, survived the shooting after taking refuge on a neighbor's front porch.
IMPD SWAT officers arrested Halfacre March 14, a day after the shootings. The age of the youngest victim is what disturbs Mears the most.
"I think about the 7-year-old losing her life and I think everybody asks the same question about the 7-year-old - why?" he said. "I have a 3- and 4-year-old."
In a Thursday morning news conference, Mears said the number of victims, including a child, qualifies as a death penalty filing under Indiana law. Mears said he would speak with Moore's family before making any decision to file for the death penalty against Halfacre.
"They are not in a position to have that discussion. They are still trying to process what has occurred and deal with their own personal grief," he said.
Mears said Halfacre had one previous offense in his criminal history that may or may not impact a death penalty decision.
“Our community has suffered another senseless and violent tragedy. While we work to seek justice in the case, we call on the community to lift up this family who has suffered a devastating loss,” Mears said. “We also hope that others take this opportunity to talk with those in your life who are in a dangerous relationship and encourage them to seek help.”
Judge Grant Hawkins scheduled a virtual pre-trial hearing for Halfacre on May 14. Attorney Laura Pitts will serve as defense counsel for the suspect.
The last execution in Indiana was in 2009. Indiana began using lethal injection in 1995. Currently, eight people are on the state's death row, but no date has been set for any of their exectuions. Two of the people on death row are from Marion County and one is from Johnson County.
State executions take place in Michigan City and federal executions in Terre Haute.
Learn more about the death penalty in Indiana here.
Domestic violence cases rise
The amount of domestic violence calls in Marion County has increased over the past year, during the pandemic, according to Mears. He said tensions in families are elevated and he urged people in difficult situations to reach out for help and not resort to violence.
"When they are in a position to break free," said Mears, "we need to make sure they have the resources to do that."
Where to Call for Help with Domestic Abuse
Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis Navigation Hub: "HELPLINE/2-1-1" at 317-926-HELP (4357)
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-332-7385
Crisis and Suicide Intervention Service 317-251-7575 or TEXT CSIS to 839863
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
Emergency and Law Enforcement
Marion County Sheriff's Department 317-327-1700
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Victim Assistance 317-327-3331
Adult Protective Services 1-800-992-6978
Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-800-5556
Center of Hope at Eskenazi Hospital 317-880-8006
VINE (Marion County Jail Release Notification) 1-866-891-0330
Marion County Prosecutor's Office 317-327-3522
Advocacy, Support Groups and Counseling
Breaking Free 317-634-6341
Julian Center 317-941-2200
Family Advocacy Center 317-327-6900
Family Service 317-634-6341
Legacy House 317-554-5272
Eskenazi Hispanic Health Resources 317-880-5000
Fresh Start of Indiana 317-541-1655
Resources for Families and Children
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana 1-800-CHILDREN
Indiana Family Helpline 1-855-435-7178
Family Support Center/Children's Bureau 317-634-5050
Teen Link Hotline 317-255-TEEN
Indiana Legal Services, Inc. 317-631-9410
Legal Aid Society 317-635-9538
Protective Order Pro Bono Project 317-236-0116
HELPLINE (Information and Referral) 317-926-4357
Shelters and Transitional Housing
Salvation Army / Ruth Lilly Center 317-637-5551
Julian Center Shelter 317-920-9320
Holy Family Shelter 317-635-7830
Sheltering Wings 317-745-1496
Queen of Peace 317-916-6753
Coburn Place Safe Haven (transitional housing) 923-5750