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Kendallville gas station shooting suspect to seek insanity defense in murder trial

Matthew D. Rodriguez
Matthew D. Rodriguez(WPTA)
Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The man accused of wounding two people and killing one more at a Kendallville gas station appeared in court to face charges Wednesday.

Matthew Rodriguez, 24, is now back in Noble County after he was captured in Ohio last week.

He is accused of fatally shooting Justin Smead inside the Gallops Party store and gas station, while leaving Blake Lewis and Alyssa Jefferies wounded.

Prosecutors charged him with murder and attempted murder in connection to the crime.

An attorney representing Rodriguez filed a notice of defense of mental disease or defect commonly referred to as the insanity defense Wednesday.

The attorney also asked that his client undergo a psychological evaluation.

The judge ordered him to be checked out by two mental health doctors, and they will determine his competency to stand trial.

Rodriguez’s next court hearing is scheduled in September.

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