News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 10, 2012

Brother charged in man’s death

Results of DNA tests led to warrant, arrest


Tribune-Star staff report

TERRE HAUTE — The DNA of a man accused of killing his brother was found on the revolver in the dead man’s apartment, police and prosecutors now allege.

Byron Sutton, 46, of Terre Haute appeared in Vigo Superior Court 5 on Tuesday morning on an allegation that he killed Guy Sutton, 47, whose decomposing remains were discovered in March inside his Dreiser Square apartment.

Byron Sutton has been charged with murder, and with failure to give notice of violent or suspicious death, a class-D felony. During the hearing via video conference, Sutton sat quietly with his clasped hands resting on a table.

Byron Sutton was arrested without incident Monday night at a mobile home park in Seelyville by Terre Haute Police, who had been searching for him since an arrest warrant was issued Sept. 21.

Judge Michael Rader set a Jan. 15 trial date for Byron Sutton, but noted that defense counsel may request a continuance because of evidence that must be reviewed in preparation for trial.

Guy Sutton died of a single gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy revealed. His decomposing remains were found March 21 after maintenance employees opened the apartment to clean it because the tenant had failed to pay rent for two months.

During the investigation into the death of Guy Sutton, who was a double amputee, police found a large amount of blood on a couch in the apartment, along with a handgun.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said that Byron Sutton has been the primary suspect in his brother’s death since March.

But until investigators received the results from the DNA tests on objects found inside the apartment and in Byron Sutton’s car, Modesitt said, there was some question of whether anyone else had been inside the apartment.

A swab from the hammer of the .357 Magnum revolver recovered in the apartment had a DNA profile consistent with Byron Sutton, according to the ISP lab analysis.

That gun, reportedly taken from the home of a Sutton relative, was found inside a duffel bag in the apartment. Also in that duffel bag were personal items — a razor, underwear, pocket knife and nail clippers — that also matched Byron Sutton’s DNA.

In the trunk of his car, police recovered a cigarette pack with a red/brown stain. That stain was blood matching Guy Sutton’s DNA profile, authorities said. A swab collected from the arm of a couch in the apartment also matched Guy Sutton.

Police also found a bank card for Guy Sutton in Byron Sutton’s auto. Byron Sutton was arrested at the time on criminal charges of fraud, forgery and receiving stolen property for allegedly using his brother’s bank card. He was sentenced to three years in prison, with one year served and two suspended, after pleading guilty to receiving stolen property.

Byron Sutton is being held in the Vigo County Jail without bond.