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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, September 23, 2017 1:00 am

80-year sentence given in murder case

Victim slain in car; gun charges mean additional 20 years

Journal Gazette

Christopher Figgs was sentenced Friday to 80 years in prison for the slaying of Edword Kiel last year.

A jury last month found Figgs guilty of murder, carrying a handgun without a license with a prior offense and using a handgun in the commission of a crime in the death.

Figgs was accused of fatally shooting Kiel, 28, while Kiel was sitting in a car in the 3500 block of McKinnie Avenue on July 6, 2016.

It was the second trial for Figgs. His first in February ended when a jury could not come to a decision after deliberating about 10 hours.

At his trial in August, defense lawyers said prosecutors couldn't put Figgs at the scene of the crime, arguing there was no gun, fingerprints or DNA.

The prosecution's first witness, Thomasa Hunter, testified she was Figgs' ex-girlfriend and was sitting in the car with Kiel when he was shot to death about 1:30 a.m. But she testified that she did not see the shooter and she had not identified Figgs.

She also told the jury “I don't want to be here” and that police are still treating her like a suspect in the case.

However, Crystal Laster, Kiel's sister, testified that Hunter called her on a cellphone after the shooting and told her Figgs was the shooter.

Phone records showed a call to Laster was made from Hunter's phone.

A forensic pathologist told the jury Kiel was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Figgs to 60 years for murder, to be served concurrently with a one-year sentence for the handgun license offense.

She also sentenced him to 20 years for using a handgun in the commission of a crime.