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Police say stabbing not random

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Court documents show the suspect and victim in Monday night’s stabbing at Evergreen Park met while in custody at the Huntington County Jail in 2016 for previous convictions, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Cristian N. Shepperd, 22, is facing felony charges of attempted robbery and battery with a deadly weapon after police found probable cause that Shepperd stabbed 28-year-old John Travis Jiles Jr. multiple times in the body and neck, according to Huntington Circuit Court documents.

Huntington Police Department Chief Chad Hacker said the attack was not random, since police believe the two were “acquaintances.”

A witness told police Shepperd and Jiles exited the same vehicle and began walking down the trail towards the woods before the stabbing occurred, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with police immediately after the stabbing, Shepperd told detectives he was at the park with Jiles that night but said “he did not know what incident had occurred at Evergreen Park,” claiming “he had blacked out until police had arrived on scene and took him into custody,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

Jiles told police that while he and Shepperd were walking down the trail, Shepperd attacked him from behind with a knife, and once Jiles was on the ground, Shepperd demanded Jiles give him his car keys, according to the affidavit.

Before taking Shepperd to the police annex for questioning, detectives collected a blood-stained folding knife from Shepperd and placed it in evidence along with his blood-stained articles of clothing, according to court records.

Police also located a knife in the vehicle that Jiles drove Shepperd to the park in, according to court documents.

Both men told police they met in Huntington County Jail, and police say both men were in the C Block of the jail between April 14, 2016 and August 14, 2016.

Huntington County Jail records show Jiles was in custody from April 14, 2016 through August 14, 2016 on a conversion charge.

In 2015, Jiles pleaded guilty to conversion for stealing a bottle of liquor and entered a pre-trail diversion program agreement where he was sentenced to serve 180 days at the Huntington County Jail, according to court records.

Shepperd previously served time after he pleaded guilty for possession of marijuana and illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage in 2015, and he was sentenced to additional time after he pleaded guilty to a conversion charge in 2015, according to court records.

Shepperd is currently in custody at the Huntington County Jail, and an initial hearing has not been set as of deadline Thursday. Bond is set at $75,000 bail bondsman plus 25,000 cash (10 percent).