MUNCIE, Ind. (TCD) — A jury convicted a 28-year-old woman this week on charges related to the 2021 shooting death of her 33-year-old ex-boyfriend.
Delaware County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Hoffman announced Thursday, May 11, that a jury deliberated for around five hours before handing down the guilty verdict against Morgan Bell. Bell was convicted of “aiding, inducing, or causing Brandon Hodge to commit murder and obstruction of justice.”
According to WTHR-TV, on Feb. 28, 2021, just after 4:30 a.m., Muncie Police officers responded to a home near West 9th Street and South Batavia Avenue to a report of a shooting, where they found Robert Scott in the driveway suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
Upon further investigation, officials learned Bell and her ex-boyfriend were entangled in a domestic dispute, WXIN-TV reports. Bell reportedly went to Scott’s home with Hodge to retrieve some of her belongings, including a wallet and her child’s ashes, but investigators didn’t find the items when searching the home.
According to WTHR, Bell told authorities she noticed Scott exit his home, and she was hit by something. She then allegedly saw Scott walk toward the car near where Hodge was and heard gunshots.
Afterward, Bell reportedly approached the car, and Hodge instructed her to get in, and they drove off.
In an interview with police, Hodge reportedly said he accompanied Bell because they thought Scott may become violent. At the home, Hodge allegedly said he suspected Scott had a gun, and when Scott hit the back of the car, Hodge shot him in the chest and back.
Hodge also admitted to police that he helped Bell cover up the shooting, and they talked about not reporting the incident, WTHR reports.
At the scene, investigators reportedly recovered a pipe near Scott’s body.
According to court documents obtained by WXIN, investigators found a conversation on Facebook Messenger in which Bell said she was “just thinking about killing Trey,” referring to her ex-boyfriend. She also allegedly searched “how to clean gunpowder from your car” on a mobile device.
Hodge reportedly searched “best murder defense lawyers in Indiana” online, as well as “attempted murder defense attorneys.”
Officials obtained a recorded conversation of Hodge and a family member talking about alibis and what to do to avoid prosecution, WXIN reports.
Bell is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8 and faces 45 to 65 years in prison for the murder conviction and six months to 2.5 years in prison for the obstruction of justice conviction.
Hodge’s trial is scheduled for December.
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