GOSHEN, Ind. --- A 23-year-old man accused of killing a former Goshen City Council member is on trial starting Monday morning.
Cody Garman has been charged with one count of murder in the death of David Swartley.
Around 8:30 a.m. on May 25, the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department responded to the 24000 block of Ne-Ce-Dah Drive after a citizen called about an unresponsive male in the back of a vehicle.
When they arrived, they found 66-year-old David Swartley naked and unconscious with severe trauma to the head and facial area, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Swartley was taken to the hospital where he later died of his injuries.
Swartley's roommates told deputies he left his home around 3 a.m.
A check of Swartley's cell phone records showed he had a 'significant amount of contact' with Garman before his death, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Deputies located Garman and he agreed to speak with detectives.
Garman told deputies he responded to an advertisement for 'casual encounters' which led to his contact with Swartley, who he did not know previously, according to court documents.
Garman said he provided Swartley with his home address for the purpose of meeting for a sexual encounter, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Garman told deputies Swartley arrived at his home and he got into Swartley's vehicle.
The two got into a disagreement and Garman said he struck Swartley in the head at least two times, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Garman then allegedly drove Swartley's vehicle, with Swartley naked and injured in the back seat, to a secluded area.
According to Garman, during the drive, Swartley asked where Garman was taking him.
When they arrived to the secluded area, Garman left Swartley in the back seat, took the keys and walked home, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Garman said he heard Swartley stating 'help' from the vehicle, reports said.
There were no calls for service from Garman seeking medical assistance for Swartley, according to the probable cause affidavit.