New Castle man shoots cousin and friend during bonfire party

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Mug shot: Garit Tuggle

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. (September 30, 2015) – A New Castle man is accused of shooting two people over the weekend during a bonfire party.

On Tuesday, Garit Tuggle, 22, was formally charged with two counts of aggravated battery, level 3 felonies, and one count of criminal recklessness, a level 6 felony.

The incident took place at Tuggle’s home early Saturday morning around 4:15 a.m. in the 900 block of South County Road 250 East.

According to court documents, a group of people were hanging out and having a bonfire at Tuggle’s home after going to see a band play at the Roadhouse Bar and Grill in New Castle.

Court documents say Tuggle had been drinking heavily that night, and according to witnesses he was acting belligerent and he kept falling down.

Tuggle’s cousin tried to help him, but during the process, Tuggle started fighting his cousin.

A group of people separated the pair, but then Tuggle tried to fight his cousin several more times.

Tuggle then went into his home, grabbed his gun, and fired about eight shots.

One of those shots hit a girl at the party in the lower leg. She was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in good condition.

Witnesses say Tuggle then sought out his cousin. The cousin tried to calm Tuggle down, but Tuggle shot his cousin in the upper thigh. The victim had to be transported by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

At Tuggle’s court hearing on Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to all counts. His jury trial is scheduled for December 15 in Henry Circuit Court 2.

If convicted, he faces between three and 16 years in prison for each count of aggravated battery, six months to 2.5 years for criminal recklessness and fines of up to $10,000.

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