Verdict: Suspect guilty on all counts


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man on trial for shooting at a Fort Wayne Police Department officer has been found guilty of all the charges against him.

34-year-old Daniel Spells is accused of shooting at FWPD officer Treven Brown in the 2800 block of Harrison Street in May of 2013. Spells was charged with attempted murder, carrying a handgun without a license, criminal recklessness, and resisting law enforcement.

According to police, Officer Brown stopped Spells to talk with him about a domestic disturbance.

According to police, Spells pulled a handgun from his waistband and began shooting at Brown. During the struggle, Brown was able to get Spells to the ground while he was still shooting and eventually took the gun away from Spells.

Brown was not injured and Spells was arrested.

Court Testimony: Spells’ account

During court on Wednesday, Spells said he was approached after an officer drove by him and turned around. Spells said he was asked for his name, ID and to move to the sidewalk. He said he was asked if he had any guns or knives on him and claimed Officer Brown then swung him to the ground. Spells claimed he tired to get rid of the gun he had in his waistband by throwing it to the ground at this point.

Spells claimed as part of his defense that his finger had become stuck on the gun’s trigger, causing it to go off multiple times. Indiana State Police Officers addressed this by bringing in an officer who specializes in the function testing of firearms. The officer claimed the firearms was functioning properly when it was discharged. The gun requires five pounds of weight to discharge and does not go off when dropped.

Spells did admit that he had been drinking alcohol and smoking spice before the encounter with Brown. He also said he bought a gun from a friend a couple of days earlier for $350.

Court Testimony: Psychiatric Evaluations

An Allen County judge found Spells competent to stand trial in January, and two psychiatrists testified on Wednesday on how they perceived Spells’ sanity. One believes he is and the other feels he is not.

The first doctor to testify believed Spells to be insane and suffering from mental illness. This assertion was based on a 35-minute interview and the doctor did not request any information on the incident before coming to a conclusion.

The second doctor believed Spells has in IQ below 60, suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but still considered him to be sane.

This doctor claimed Spells was able to determine right from wrong. He interviewed spells for over three hours, spoke to his mother and requested additional information. This doctor placed Spells’ IQ between 50 and 58. He also found records indicating that Spells had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in 2003. Spells was not taking medication.

Deliberations

The state and Spells’ defense attorney Quinton Ellis rested just before noon on Wednesday. The ruling was read after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

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