CENTREVILLE – A man who was arrested in connection with the 2019 murder of a Colon man has been released.
Following the third day of a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeffery Middleton announced that 20 year old Ethan Dingman was to be released, and not bound over on a charge of open murder in the death of 55 year old Todd Schwartz, based on a lack of evidence.
Middleton says he knows Dingman called in the incident, denied he did it, denied he went in the building and had some trace amounts of Schwartz's blood on him. He says that's not enough to bind Dingman over on a charge of open murder. Schwartz was found dead November 21, 2019 in a garage behind Illusions Hair Care in Colon. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and strangulation.
Middleton did say there may be more evidence in this case, but he didn't know what that is. He also said that even though probable cause did not exist, Prosecutor Amy Sheppard could appeal his decision. Middleton did emphasize to Dingman that this case isn't over because of his ruling. He said jeopardy has not been attached because this was not a trial, but a preliminary examination. Middleton says if authorities can establish probable cause, then Dingman could be re-arrested.
The hearing was postponed for over a year, after Dingman was diagnosed with having paranoid schizophrenia. Middleton encouraged him to continue seeking treatment for his condition.
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