ANDERSON, Ind. — The Madison County Prosecutor’s Office announced it is seeking the death penalty in the murder of Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz.
The prosecutor’s office filed a request with the state of Indiana Wednesday to request that Carl Roy Webb Boards II, 42, be sentenced to death if found guilty of shooting and killing Officer Shahnavaz during a traffic stop on July 31.
The death penalty is being pursued on the basis of Noah Shahnavaz, 24, being a law enforcement officer and acting in the course of his duty when he was killed.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings says the decision to pursue the death penalty was made with the Shahnavaz family.
“We had the meeting with them,” said Cummings. “We [also] staffed this with the Indiana Prosecutors. It’s a death penalty committee, an accomplished litigation committee with the most experienced prosecutors in the state of Indiana, and representatives of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.”
Seeking the death penalty creates what is essentially a “super due-process,” lengthening the period of time it will take not only to bring a matter to trial, but it also extends what types of issues need to be investigated.
Cummings says it was a unanimous decision among all of the parties and commended the work of the Indiana State Police in gathering evidence against the suspect.
He also said he believes this is one of the worst shootings of any police officer he can recall.
“This is my 24th year in law as a prosecutor; my career is in law enforcement. I’ve never seen a police shooting like this, never heard of one anywhere in the country. Part of the issue is, is it among the worst of the worst? Absolutely it is,” said Cummings.
“The evidence they brought with [ISP Superintendent] Doug Carter and his resources — I’ve never seen anything like it in an investigation in my career.”
The Shahnavaz family was present for the announcement, and Noah’s father Matt shared touching words about his son and his habit of always having sunglasses nearby due to his blue eyes’ sensitivity to light.
“If you saw Noah, you knew a pair of shades would be closeby,” said Matt Shahnavaz.
The elder Shahnavaz said people can remember his son by wearing their sunglasses on the back of their heads, “Noah-style.”
“He’s worn them like this since he was a little kid.”
Matt said, “My family misses Noah more than words can express. We want everyone to remember Noah.”
Another Indiana police officer, Richmond officer Serea Burton, was shot in the line of duty less than three weeks after Noah was killed. ISP Superintendent Doug Carter expressed his frustration with two officers wounded in such a short span of time.
“I don’t understand where we’ve lost the value of human life. I don’t know where that’s happened,” he began. “I think everyone understands the only thing that lasts forever is dying, and we’ve lost the ability to rationalize that.”
Carl Roy Webb Boards II has been charged with murder, two counts of resisting law enforcement, and being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.
Boards has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Sept. 30, 2022.
In 2006, Boards shot at Indianapolis police officers and received a 25-year aggravated sentence in connection to the incident. He was released from Indiana Department of Corrections custody in 2019.
Earlier in August, Prosecutor Cummings announced he will request an additional $50,000 from the county’s 2023 budget for the then-anticipated filing.
As the Herald Bulletin reported, Cummings told the Madison County Council that a death penalty case could cost up to $400,000.