FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne man convicted of fatally shooting a man outside the Texas Roadhouse restaurant last August has been sentenced.
Andrew Cassaday was sentenced Friday in Allen Superior Court to 65 years for the Aug. 14, 2016, shooting death of 28-year old Jeffrey Lute outside of Texas Roadhouse on Washington Center Road. A jury found Cassaday guilty of murder and carrying a handgun without a license last month.
“Sixty-five is a wonderful number,” Lute’s father, Jeff Lute, said. “All-in-all justice was served.”
According to witness testimony, Lute and several men were part of the Steel Horse Rebels motorcycle club, but he broke ties with the group after it changed from a charitable organization to a gang.
Outside of the popular chain restaurant that mid-August night, though, a physical altercation started between Lute’s group and current members of the motorcycle club. Several witnesses described the altercation throughout the trial. During the altercation Lute pulled out a handgun and shot a man, who was a friend of Cassaday, in the leg. He then ran off around the restaurant.
Cassaday maintained during the trial that after he saw Lute fire, he went to his car to get his gun. He told the jury he thought police would be there soon and wanted to have his gun in case he needed to defend himself.
Cassaday told the jury he started walking to the front door of the restaurant, not toward his friends, because he thought it would be safer in the light. Then, a few seconds later, Cassaday testified that he saw Lute come around the corner of the building, and he shot.
A jury deliberated for just under five hours before it found Cassaday guilty.
Lute’s father said he hopes to forgive Cassaday some day down the road.
“It’s going to take awhile. This kid was in my house. My son has known this kid since high school. This man I should say, not a kid. You open your house to somebody you think is going to be a good person only to find out don’t turn your back on the people you think are good,” Larry Lute said.
Cassaday told the judge he will appeal his case.