A Parke County jury has found Jeremy Musall guilty of murder, burglary, rape and kidnapping in connection with the August 2011 death of Joseph Snow.
After almost two hours of deliberation Monday afternoon, the jury found Musall, 28, of Cloverdale, guilty of all six criminal charges – murder, felony murder, and the class-A felony charges of burglary resulting in bodily injury, rape and kidnapping.
Musall faces 45 to 65 years in prison on the murder charge. A class-A felony carries a penalty of 20 to 50 years in prison. He could be sentenced on Aug. 9.
Musall was accused of beating and strangling Snow in a mobile home near Rocky Fork Lake in southeastern Parke County in the early morning hours of Aug. 13.
The defense team of James Bruner and Michael Stites alleged in closing arguments that Musall’s former girlfriend enticed him to harm Snow, saying that the woman regretted taking Snow back into her home after kicking Musall out.
Parke County Prosecutor Steven Cvengros, with Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Stalker, presented Musall as a spurned boyfriend who attacked Snow while Snow was sleeping in bed, beating and torturing him for hours before putting the dead man’s body in the truck of Musall’s car and driving to Putnam County where he dumped the body in a cornfield.
Cvengros had no comment following the jury’s verdict except to say that he appreciated the effort of the jury, which was selected July 9 for a trial that was expected to end last week.
However, the prosecution presented 18 witnesses, many being police officers who responded to the 911 call from the former girlfriend who said that Musall had beaten and killed Snow before raping her and kidnapping her toddler daughter.
Deputies from the Parke and Putnam county sheriff’s departments joined with the Indiana State Police and Cloverdale Police in tracking down Musall, recovering Snow’s body, finding the child unharmed and investigating the crime.
The defense team presented only one witness on Monday – the neighbor of the former girlfriend. The woman said that the girlfriend was being evicted from her Parke County home after the landlord did not want Snow to move back into the rental home because of past domestic disturbances between the couple.
The girlfriend had testified that she was packing her belongings to move with Snow into a new mobile home in Putnam County on the night that Musall showed up and began beating Snow.
Following the reading of the verdict, Judge Sam Swaim noted that the murder charge and the felony murder charged will be merged for sentencing.
Swaim set a sentencing date of 9 a.m. Aug. 9, allowing a full day for testimony at the hearing.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.