Gary Studer Stands Trial

By: Robert Borelli
By: Robert Borelli

Gary Studer and his wife Tonya each had custody of one of their two small boys that day in late April.

Studer's court appointed public defender says Tonya and her mom, Vicki Dewey, tricked Studer into leaving home so Tonya could get the other child.

Defense Attorney Erin White says, "That was the straw that broke the camel's back. He was seeing red, he was livid with rage. The adrenaline was pumping, he wasn't thinking, he was totally blinded with rage."

White believes Studer should be charged with manslaughter, not murder.

He says Studer had blackouts that day and still cannot piece together what he did.

A landscaper working near the murder scene describes what she heard. "He was saying they were his kids. He wants his kids. And the woman was telling him you don't have to do this. She said his name, Gary, you don't have to do this.' Then, just bam, bam, bam, three or four maybe 5 shots," Vanisha Tyler says.

A 911 call by Tonya Studer shocked the silent courtroom. “He's killing my mom now,” she pleads. “Get here now, get here now.”

Then, the sound of gunshots were heard.

But Studer's mother says a 1998 car crash left her son with brain damage.

It was a fact that was not allowed in opening statements, but will be during the defense phase.

"He was cognitively damaged with no rationality, no reasoning abilities, very impulsive. He was in rehabilitation, that didn't work, two years went by and then he had to have a full time caregiver," his mother explains.

That caregiver was Tonya Goble.

A relationship blossomed.

The couple got pregnant and married a year before Tonya and her mom were killed.

WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 4769636 -
Gray Television, Inc.