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posted: 8/19/2013 7:01 AM

3 Northern Indiana teens face trial after another teen shot

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Associated Press

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Three teenagers are being tried together on murder charges stemming from their accomplice in a home invasion being fatally shot by a northern Indiana homeowner.

An Elkhart County judge last week denied the requests of 17-year-old Blake Layman, 18-year-old Levi Sparks and 19-year-old Anthony Sharp Jr. for separate trials.

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The Elkhart Truth reports Judge Terry Shewmaker says the three can be tried together because the defense arguments are consistent with one another.

The teens' supporters have lobbied prosecutors to drop the felony murder charges, arguing they aren't murderers. But Indiana law states that someone committing a felony can be charged with felony murder if another person dies during the crime.

Twenty-one-year-old Danzele Johnson was shot and killed Oct. 3 in Elkhart.

The trial is to begin Monday.

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