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Indiana man pleads guilty in great aunt’s 2020 killing

March 28, 2022 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A south-central Indiana man pleaded guilty Monday to murder in the 2020 slaying of his great aunt, who authorities said he killed one day after she bailed him out of jail.

Bobby N. Truitt II, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of abuse of a corpse during a Bartholomew County court hearing, The Republic reported.

The abuse of a corpse charge was changed from a felony rape charge Truitt initially faced, and as part of his plea agreement an auto theft charge will be dropped.

According to court documents, Truitt killed Sharon Lovins, 64, at her home on Sept. 27, 2020, one day after she bailed him out of the Johnson County Jail, where he had been held on sexual battery charges, and offered to let him stay with her temporarily.

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Lovins was slain in her home in Waynesville, a small Bartholomew County community about 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) south of Indianapolis.

Investigators said in court documents they believe that after Lovins was killed, allegedly with a hammer, Truitt stole her sport-utility vehicle and drove to Indianapolis, where he reportedly inquired about buying a bus ticket to New York.

He was arrested two days after Lovins’ slaying after being found among a group of homeless people panhandling in Indianapolis.

A judge scheduled a May 10 sentencing hearing for Truitt.

A message seeking comment from Truitt’s defense attorney was left Monday by The Associated Press.