VERNON, Ind. (March 13, 2015) -- The federal government has taken over the case of three Indianapolis men accused of murdering a gun store owner and stealing dozens of guns last fall.
Officials allege that brothers Darryl and Dejuan Worthen and their cousin Darion Harris planned to kill store owner Scott Maxie, 61, and rob him. They were arrested shortly after Maxie's death on September 21.
"He was a citizen of this county, a friend and a father of a five-year-old," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said.
Minkler announced Friday that a grand jury indicted the men on four counts stemming from the incident. They're also accused of stealing 45 guns and selling them illegally on the streets of Indianapolis.
Of those guns, only eight have been recovered.
"It is common knowledge that illegally sold and possessed firearms is a huge problem in Indianapolis," Minkler said.
Jennings County Prosecutor Brian Belding had already filed charges in the county, but said that this move will likely lead to more jail time and harsher penalties.
"The decision to have these individuals charged federally was after careful consultation with the family members," Belding said.
The Attorney General will still need to decide if any of the men will face the death penalty or life without parole. It's unclear when they'll be transferred from county federal custody.
Officials said the case remains under investigation, particularly the whereabouts of the missing guns. If you have any information, you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS.