James Stewart found guilty of murder

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

ST. JOSEPH Co., Ind.--- It only took an hour of deliberation to convict a man accused in the 1999 death of Christopher Pierre.

James Stewart, 34, was found guilty of Murder this afternoon, and now faces 45 to 65 years in prison.

Stewart was also arraigned on a charge of Attempted Murder today after he allegedly choked Gregory Spurgeon, another inmate, on April 20, while in custody at the St. Joseph County Jail.

Christopher Pierre was found dead on September 17, 1999, at the corner of Fremont and Humbolt Streets in South Bend.

Pierre’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy was conducted and a gunshot wound was located at the back of the neck.

Stewart had been previously charged with this murder back on May 15, 2000. However, just before trial, a critical witness suddenly refused to testify.

The State, under the previous administration, dismissed the Murder charge on June 18, 2002.

Cold Case investigators with the County Metro Homicide Unit re-opened the investigation, and on March 1, 2013, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office re-filed a Criminal Information with the Court charging James Stewart with Murder for the 1999 death of Christopher Pierre.

Sentencing for Stewart is set for May 29, 2014. A trial date for the attempted murder charge will also be set at that time.

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