INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The man who police say stalked and killed his girlfriend’s other boyfriend in December 2016 has taken a plea deal, pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and burglary.
Joseph Evan Avart, 37, was charged in connection with the Dec. 2 killing of Andrew Perry, 50, at a residence in the 2900 block of Cadogan Drive in Greenwood. He was originally charged with murder, as well as breaking and entering, a level six felony.
Police say Avart began stalking Perry after he learned that they had been having sexual relations with the same woman. Perry filed two reports of harassment with the police.
In a news conference back in December, Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said, “He’s making harassing phone calls to Andrew and was spoofing the phone calls to appear that they were coming from someone else.”
The situation escalated on the night of Dec. 1 when Avart parked his car in front Perry’s home and watched him and the woman together. The next day Avart broke into Perry’s home to confront him about his relationship with the woman and killed him, Cox said in December.
Police believe that Avart stabbed Perry in the head using an object like a screwdriver, although Avart claims he shot him. Authorities say that Perry’s official cause of death was “a combination of penetrating and blunt force injuries to the head.”
Investigators say that Avart tried to make the murder look like a burglary by ransacking the kitchen of the house and leaving a bag of fake cocaine near Perry’s body.
“To the seasoned investigator, it appeared that it was made to look like a burglary and or a bad drug deal,” Cox said.
Avart was not charged with Perry’s murder until Dec. 16 when he admitted to breaking into the home and shooting Perry in the head, saying that he thought Perry was going to hurt him. Authorities say Avart’s testimony contradicts with evidence.
Investigators were able to confirm that Avart had been to Perry’s house using GPS technology.
Avart could have faced up to 65 years in prison for his original charges. However, by pleading guilty to manslaughter, he now faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. His jury trial was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 30, but has been cancelled. A sentencing hearing will be held on Nov. 13.