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Men arrested in home break-in where another suspect died sentenced

Kevin Lemaster, 40, and Benjamin Gardner, 47

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Two men who were arrested after a January home break-in that turned deadly learned their sentence Friday.

Benjamin Gardner and Kevin Lemaster were sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to their roles in the January break-in.

We previously reported the break-in happened on January 10 around 6:30 p.m. Police believe the suspects burglarized the home earlier in the day and were returning to steal more items.

Instead, they were met by the homeowner’s son, ready for them. The man in the house shot and killed one suspect while the other two got away, They were arrested the next day and charged with felony murder and burglary.

On Friday, the two men were sentenced after pleading guilty to burglary in exchange for the felony murder charge to be dropped.

The sentence calls for the men to serve 6 years in prison, with credit given for time served.

The homeowner did not face criminal charges in the case. The shooting was protected by Indiana’s self-defense statute, commonly referred to as the state’s stand-your-ground law.

“It’s important to see how much the homeowner did before he shot.  He had a friend call 911.  He yelled out warnings.  He told them to go away and only all that, he resorted to lethal force.  It’s exactly how stand your ground should work,” said attorney John Tompkins.

The shooter was asked to protect the property.  Prosecutors say the shooting appears to be a justifiable case of self-defense.

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