Bond hearing set for IMPD officer accused of shooting live-in girlfriend

IMPD Officer Justin Beaton (Photo Courtesy: IMPD)
Justin Beaton (Photo Courtesy: IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The attorney for an Indianapolis police officer accused of shooting his live-in girlfriend wants his client’s bond reduced and called the incident “a tragic accident.”

Attorney Jack Crawford spoke to reporters following Monday’s initial court appearance for IMPD Officer Justin Beaton, who is facing charges of attempted murder, domestic battery, pointing a firearm and obstruction of justice. Beaton, a ten-year veteran of the force, is accused of shooting his live-in girlfriend during an August 2014 incident at his home.

“Officer Beaton is not a risk to anyone. Once the evidence is introduced in this case everyone will know that the injuries suffered are the result of a tragic accident,” Crawford said.

Court records show the woman, who is not being identified, initially told authorities that Beaton hit her with a bed frame he was supposedly moving. But last week she went back to authorities recanting that story and claiming that Beaton shot her through a glass door with what she thought were blank rounds.

The woman lost teeth and had glass fragments in her mouth, according to court records.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the woman says that on Aug. 30, 2014 Beaton began drinking around noon and wanted to go to the “gun show that was at the fairgrounds.” The records go on to state that the woman says once Beaton “sobered up enough” he drove his police car to the gun show where he purchased a .38 special handgun. The two then discussed going swimming at a relatives’ home but instead stopped by the house because she claims Beaton wanted to “check out this gun” and “was pulling blanks out of the closest and he wanted to shoot off the gun.”

The court records go on to state that the woman says she was standing on the front porch smoking when “I looked up at the glass door and the barrel of the gun was there and then the next thing I know I had like a real odd ringing in my ear and I couldn’t hear and I fell backwards…  I was bleeding and said ‘you just shot me.'”

A detective and physician later determined that the woman had in fact suffered a gunshot injury, the court records state.

When asked by authorities why she changed her story, the woman said “she couldn’t do it no more” and went on to accuse Beaton of drinking heavily and chasing her around the house last week, demanding the return of a bottle of alcohol she reportedly took from him.The woman claims she returned the bottle to Beaton and left the house.

On Monday, Judge Lisa Borges ordered Beaton to undergo alcohol monitoring, not possess any firearms and not have any contact with the alleged victim, her cousin or two other people who might be witnesses in the case.

“We are certainly going to do everything we can to keep her safe and make sure that nothing happens to her,” said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Arvin.

Arvin said she’s not worried about the alleged victim changing her story, adding that it’s typical among domestic violence victims.

“Domestic violence victims typically change their stories. It’s not uncommon for them to give at least two versions of an event,” she said.

Crawford would not describe what he though would be an appropriate bond for Beaton, only saying he would let the judge decide.

“(Officer Beaton) has been a well serving Indianapolis police officer for over 10 years now,. We feel he is not risk to the community,” Crawford said.

A bond reduction hearing is set for Wednesday at 9 a.m. Beaton’s current bond is set at $300,000.

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