South Bend double murder suspect arraigned

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The suspect in a double murder investigation appeared in court via video conference for the first time since his arrest last week.

On Monday, Joseph Newgent, 52, was arraigned and formally read the charges he’s facing: two counts of murder and one count of firearm enhancement.

Charging documents indicate Newgent telling police that on August 4th, he entered a residence in the 800 block of Johnson Street when he heard Rainie Best,18, and Phil Honer, 22, in a verbal altercation.

When it turned physical, that’s when court papers said Newgent admitted to shooting Honer and accidentally shooting Best.

A search warrant of Best’s phone showed evidence of communications between herself and Newgent. Newgent allegedly had prior arrangements to meet with Best on August 4th, the day he claimed to have shot and killed her.

On August 9th, police discovered the bodies of Best and Newgent inside the Johnson Street home.

Best’s mother released a statement to 16 News, in part, saying: “I love my beautiful sweet, sweet girl. I will always love you and miss you...I will see you guys again one day...until then I love you.”

Newgent has requested a public defender and is due in court again on September 22nd.