Fourth man convicted in 2012 murder at northeast side music studio

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INDIANAPOLIS (March 28, 2014) – A man once cleared in one murder case has now been convicted in another.

A jury found Carlton Hart guilty Thursday for his role in the Nov. 15, 2012, murder of Thomas Keys and attempted murder of Marvin Finney II. Hart was convicted of murder, criminal confinement and conspiracy to commit criminal confinement. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

Keys—also known as “DJ Keys”—was found dead at a music studio Hart owned near East 46th Street and North Keystone Avenue. Finney was shot in both wrists but survived. Investigators said the men had been lured to the music studio with offers of a music project.

Instead, they were tied up, beaten and shot, court documents said. Finney told police he played dead until his attackers left, and then managed to escape. He ran to a nearby CVS store to get help.

Three other people have been convicted in connection with the shooting:

  • Nathaniel Armstrong was convicted by a jury in October 2013 of murder, kidnapping (A Felony), and attempt murder (IV). Prosecutors filed a criminal gang sentence enhancement which added 65 years to his sentence. He was sentenced to a total of 175 years.
  • James McDuffy was convicted by a jury in October 2013 of murder, attempt murder (A Felony), kidnapping (A Felony), robbery (A Felony), criminal confinement (B Felony), conspiracy to commit kidnapping (A Felony), and conspiracy to commit criminal confinement (B Felony). Prosecutors requested a habitual offender sentence enhancement, and he was sentenced to a total of 185 years.
  • Darin Jackson was convicted by a jury in February 2014 of conspiracy to commit criminal confinement (B Felony). He was sentenced to 18 years.

Two additional suspects, Dominique Hamler and Dontee Robinson, are scheduled to go on trial on May 12.

In October 2010, murder charges against Hart were dropped in a separate 2008 case. The investigation was profiled on The Shift, a cable television reality show that followed Indianapolis Metropolitan police detectives. Hart spent about two years in jail awaiting trial before charges were dismissed. He later filed a lawsuit accusing the show’s producers and police of defamation.