Second person charged with murder after police find man’s body in rural Hancock County

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Update (Feb. 14, 2017) -- Shawn Hammons was sentenced to 39.5 years with 20 years to be served in the Department of Correction and 19.5 years suspended. He'll spend five years on probation.

Hammons pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine, being a habitual offender and other lesser charges in December 2016. Murder charges were dropped after he agreed to testify against Damian Coleman.

Update (March 8, 2016) -- A second person has been charged in the murder of Kitchens. Damian Coleman faces preliminary charges of felony murder, attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted dealing in cocaine, and conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine.

GREENFIELD, Ind. (March 7, 2016) - Monday was an emotional day inside a Hancock County courtroom. The family of 55-year-old Shannon Kitchens came face to face with Kitchens' alleged killer, 40-year-old Shawn Hammons.

Kitchens' body was found tossed on the side of a rural Hancock County road last Tuesday night.

"It makes me very, very, very, very angry. I mean, he set my father up and just dumped him like he’s trash," son Jason Kitchens said.

Monday, prosecutors formally charged Hammons in Kitchens’ murder.

Court documents reveal the two men spent Kitchens' last night alive together, March 1, 2016, driving around, using drugs, and talking about money. Kitchens, according to the prosecutor, was set to come in to more than $10,000 through a disability claim.

The last night Kitchens was seen alive, he and Hammons went together to cash his disability check, but Hancock County prosecutors claim Hammons had ulterior motives. When questioned by police, he was found with more than $2,000.

Hammons, though, claims Kitchens murder was the result of a drug deal gone bad and a dealer the pair met up with was actually the one to shoot and kill Kitchens.

“Anger, it’s pure anger, I’ll tell you that right now,” Jason Kitchens said.

Kitchens’ family, including his five kids, gathered together for the court hearing and afterwards to place a memorial at the site where their father was found.

"He had more patience than I ever did and he tried to help everybody," brother Jeff Kitchens said.

"He was just super friendly. He always took care of you no matter what you needed or wanted, he was always there," Kitchens' girlfriend Elizabeth Burton said.

According to the family, Kitchens and Hammons were friends and the two used to work together.

"This was all premeditated, it was all ready to go before he even left here to cash that check," Jason Kitchens said.

As the family grieves, they are holding onto memories in photo boards they created for the funeral, as well as mementos. Kitchens collected fossils he found in the Crawfordsville area that will be handed out at his memorial service.

His kids said they wanted a lesson to be learned after his death.

"Just keep your family close ... make sure you have your family near you because that is the most important thing in life right now is just family," Jason Kitchens said.

Hammons is being held in the Hancock County Jail without bond. His murder trial is set to begin on August 9.

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