Relief felt in neighborhood after murder arrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Neighbors on Linwood Avenue are breathing easier after police announced they made an arrest in the murder of Shannon Kleeman. Officers arrested Morice Ervin of Indianapolis for the murder and rape in March. Police say Shannon Kleeman was found dead in the basement of her step-mother’s home in the 600 block of Linwood Avenue.

Treva Bryant lives across the street and walked into the home and found Kleeman’s body. Court documents show the woman who walked in the home with her was the suspect’s wife. Bryant says she hasn’t been the same since the murder.

“I boarded up my windows. I wouldn’t leave the house without my husband … I still have nightmares. I still think about Shannon and what was done to her,” Bryant said.

Ervin lives right next door to the home where Kleeman was killed. Witnesses told police Morice Ervin knew Kleeman’s stepmother. He had gone to her home, drank with her and even loaded her husband’s shotgun. Court documents show Ervin also helped shovel snow and cut the grass.

“You think you know somebody, but nobody really knows anybody … It’s hard to know that you’re sitting on your front porch and across the street is sitting someone that supposedly killed your neighbor,” said Bryant.

Carolyn Watkins, the pastor of a church just a few houses down from Ervin’s home, says there was a sense of anger and frustration throughout the neighborhood since the murder.

“I was enormously relieved to find out that they had finally made an arrest,” said Watkins.

But that relief, doesn’t ease this neighborhood’s pain.

“When I hear that somebody has been murdered in this city there’s always a sense of loss,” said Watkins.

Bryant says she may now take down the boards from her windows and let the sunshine in. She says she’s grateful a suspect has been apprehended, but there still needs to be a conviction.

“She was a wonderful person and a beautiful girl. She deserves justice,” said Bryant.

Morice Ervin was sentenced to eight years in prison for armed robbery, and has had at least three prior convictions in Marion County:

  • 1994 – possession of cocaine
  • 1996 — driving while suspended
  • 2001 – robbery
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