Charge added in Vigo County murder case

Justin Gasaway

A Terre Haute man facing a homicide charge also faces a habitual offender enhancement that could add up to 20 years to his sentence if he is convicted of murder.

Justin Charles Gasaway, 32, appeared Wednesday in Vigo Superior Court where Judge Michael Rader told Gasaway that due to previous felony convictions, the potential prison sentence for murder in this case could increase from the standard 45 to 65 years to a range of 65 to 85 years.

Gasaway has an April 14 trial date on charges of murder, battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and altering the scene of a death in the Jan. 1 death of 61-year-old Bryan J. Owen.

Owen was found on the porch of Gasaway's home at 233 S. 9th St. after police were called for an unresponsive person. Owen was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Doctors found a stab wound in Owen's back.

Gasaway told investigators Owen, who was homeless, had been found sleeping on the porch on multiple occasions. Witnesses told police Gasaway battered Owen before police were called to the scene.

Judge Rader declined to set bail for Gasaway, who is to return to court Jan. 28 for a status hearing on other pending felony cases.

Rader also set a March 10 pretrial hearing.

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