FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Two murder defendants, two guilty pleas.
There was a surprise ending Tuesday to an Allen County murder trial.
Not even one juror stepped foot in the courtroom before the case was dispatched with, and two men were staring straight at prison time.
On September 7th of last year, 23-year old Eric Robinson was knifed in an apartment building at 2100 St. Marys Avenue.
He died more than a week later.
Robinson's relative, 20-year old Melvin Sanders, and Theopulus Gordon were set to stand trial together on Tuesday on charges of murder.
But the trial was made unnecessary when each pleaded guilty.
Before jury selection even started, Sanders indicated to the court he was ready to confess.
He put his head in his hands and sobbed as he relayed how he and Robinson argued, before he claims that Robinson threw a punch, prompting Sanders to pull a knife and stab Robinson to death.
He told the judge that the other defendant, Theopulus Gordon, had nothing to do with the crime.
But Gordon also entered a plea to a lesser charge of aiding in battery.
Prosecutors had photos from an apartment building surveillance camera, showing Gordon present with Sanders and the victim.
In one photo, Sanders could be seen lifting his shirt to display a large knife in his waistband.
Sanders could get up to 65 years at his sentencing May 31st.
Gordon faces a May 23rd sentencing hearing.
He’s looking at a maximum of eight years.
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