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Friday, October 19th, 2018




Jury Finds Combs Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter, Not Murder
Monday Sep 17, 2018 7:06pm
LaGrange, IN

Brian Combs broke into tears and nodded to the jury as his verdict was read Monday evening.

The LaGrange Superior Court jury chose involuntary manslaughter over murder after deliberating about three hours.

The Lagrange man’s attorney called the beating that eventually lead to Clayton Rust of Angola’s death a classic law school case of involuntary manslaughter. Combs came home unexpectedly in September of 2016 to find Rust having sex with Combs’ girlfriend.

Attorney Thomas Leatherman said the jury’s verdict couldn’t have been better for Combs, who will face a maximum of 6 years imprisonment instead of 60 years when he’s sentenced November 16th. Combs has been jailed for two years while awaiting trial.

Earlier Monday the defense called two expert witnesses to bolster their case. Dr. Stephen Ross is a clinical and forensic psychologist. He interviewed Combs after the attack.

Ross said Combs told him he experienced rage unlike anything he’d ever experienced before when he came home to find Rust in bed with his girlfriend.

Combs said he punched Rust in the face, but Ross testified Combs’ recall of what happened next was limited. He said he administered a test to Rust that indicated he was not faking his loss of memory.

Next on the stand was forensic pathologist Dr. Thomas Sozio who reviewed the hospital records, autopsy and investigative records for the defense.

Sozio said he saw no indications that an object was used to beat Rust and that one blow could have accounted for all the injuries he sustained.

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