Minimum Sentence 45 Years, Facing Additional 6-20 Years

White Found Guilty of Two Murders

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell
By Nicole Hahn
By Corinne Rose
By Megan Trent

October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 6:45 PM EDT

WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - A Wells County jury has found 29-year-old Tyler White of Ossian guilty of murder and feticide.

After six hours of deliberation, a Wells County jury found Tyler White guilty of murder Monday evening.

"This definitely helps. It's not something you're gonna forget about. You know, I think about it every day. I think about Amy every day. You know, this is a real big part of it," said the victim's father, Mike Meyer.

According to Meyer, Tyler White's family has temporary placement of the couple's little boy, Max.

"There's still another part to go and that's the custody of Max. Now that this is over with, Max belongs with us. He belongs with me," continued Meyer, as he explained why the Indiana Department of Child Services should not give permanent custody to Tyler White's family.

White faces a minimum sentence of 45 years.

Tuesday morning the jury decided unanimously that Tyler White terminated the pregnancy of his ex-wife Amy, when he took her life. Sentencing is set for November 14th at 9:00am.

That charge could add six to 20 years.

Tyler White was charged with a single count of murder in the October 27th, 2009 shooting of his estranged wife.

Tyler White admitted he shot Amy Meyer White two times in his parents' garage as they were handing off custody of Max that morning.

White claimed his wife pointed a gun at him during an angry confrontation and that he fired out of fear for his own life.

In closing arguments, prosecutors told jurors Tyler White's version of what happened defies common sense.

Mike Lautzenheiser said White had a loaded pistol in his waistband with a bullet in the chamber because he wanted this very outcome.

He reminded jurors that White told a pair of jail nurses two days later that Amy White got what she deserved.

White shot his wife's cell phone after the shooting.

Lautzenheiser argued he did that because Amy White recorded their meetings on the phone, so essentially he was destroying evidence of what actually happened that morning.

Meanwhile, during closing arguments, the defense focused on a gun box that was found in the car Amy White drove to the scene that day and had one of her hairs in it.

State police evidence technicians glossed over the box until a private citizen brought it to their attention.

Defense lawyer James Voyles, who once represented boxer Mike Tyson in a trial, said Tyler White is entitled to a better effort than police gave him in the search for truth.

There was a proposal to offer the jurors an option to find Tyler White guilty of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

White thought about that over the weekend said no, it should be all or nothing on murder.

~~~
Murder defendant Tyler White said he felt miserable and sorry after shooting and killing his estranged wife in 2009.

But in a video taped statement to police he said the death was not his fault. The statement was played to a Wells County jury Tuesday afternoon at White's murder trial.

Tyler White could be seen breaking down on the tape after getting confirmation Amy White died from gunshot wounds to her chest and stomach.

After waiving his Miranda rights, White told a detective as the two met to exchange custody of their little boy at his parents home in 2009, they bickered over his wanting extra time with his son.

He claims Amy White then pulled a pistol on him. He said he dropped to his knees to try to calm his wife down, but admitted he drew a handgun and fired twice when he feared for his life.

He said on the tape, "I thought I was going to die. Then I didn't want her to die."

Prosecutors are challenging Tyler White's version of what happened. In opening statements, the prosecutor told jurors the pathologist who performed the autopsy will testify that the path the bullets followed in Amy White's body does not square with the idea that Tyler White was on his knees.

The gun that White said is estranged wife pulled on him that day actually belonged to Tyler White's best friend with no credible explanation for how she would have gotten it.

Tyler White lost his job four days before the shooting, a custody hearing was scheduled for the day after the shooting and prosecutors say they'll produce witness testimony that Tyler White said after the shooting Amy White got what she had coming to her.

~~~~~

Jury selection began Monday morning in Bluffton in the Tyler White case.

He faces murder charges in the death of his estranged wife, Amy Meyer White, who suffered a fatal bullet wound at her home in Wells County.

Police say Tyler White fired the shots during a dispute that erupted while the two met to exchange custody of their 16-month old son.

Authorities say White confessed to pulling the trigger, but had made the argument that his wife pointed a gun at him first, and that he fired in self-defense.

Indiana law has a provision addressing feticide, and is the basis for the extra murder charge in this case.




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