Jury begins deliberations in murder of former Goshen council member

Cody Garman David Swartley

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- The jury has started their deliberations in the trial of Cody Garman, who is accused of killing 66-year-old David Swartley, according to our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth.

Swartley was found naked and unconscious in a vehicle in the 24000 block of Ne-Ce-Dah Drive around 8:30 a.m. May 25, 2017. He was pronounced deceased that evening.

Garman was charged with murder in Swartley's death.

Garman testified in his own defense at trial.

He told the jury after he met with Swartley for a sexual encounter, he started to become uncomfortable by things Swartley said and did. He said he pushed Swartley off him, kicked him once and punched him three to four times, then drove him to the 24000 block of Ne-Ce-Dah Drive and left him in the vehicle, according to The Elkhart Truth.

Garman testified he knew Swartley was hurt but did not know how badly.

During closing arguments, the defense asked the jury to find Garman guilty of a lesser offense, like voluntary or involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.

The state said Garman should be found guilty of murder because of the age, size and strength difference between Swartley and Garman. Also because he inflicted the injuries to Swartley, never got him help and abandoned him.

The jury began deliberating around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Swartley was a member of the Goshen City Council in the 1990s.

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