A man who was involved in a fiery crash that killed a Whitley County police dog and destroyed a police car following a high-speed chase and carjacking was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.
Clarence Shearer, 33, had pleaded guilty in Whitley Circuit Court to unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and causing the death of a law enforcement animal. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, charges of resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness were dismissed.
Judge Matthew J. Rentschler ordered the 10-year sentence he gave Shearer to be served back to back with a 26-year sentence Shearer received in Marshall County in November for armed robbery and auto theft in the same case.
Plymouth police reported an armed carjacking of a black 2016 Chrysler about 3:30 p.m. July 12, 2019 near U.S. 30 and Pioneer Drive, state police said.
An Indiana state trooper later saw the vehicle traveling east on U.S. 30 near Fox Farm Road west of Warsaw. Police attempted to stop the vehicle on U.S. 30 near Meijer Drive in Kosciusko County. Shearer pulled over to the left side of the road and a passenger got out. Shearer then sped off, continuing east on U.S. 30, state police said.
Shearer refused to stop while being chased by officers from several departments as the pursuit entered Whitley County.
Whitley sheriff's deputy Gary Archbold set up stop sticks at U.S. 30 and County Road 450 West and parked his vehicle in the crossover between the eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. 30, the sheriff's department said.
Shearer drove across both eastbound lanes into the crossover and struck Archbold's vehicle at high speed. Archbold's police dog, Castorka, or "Cas," was trapped inside the vehicle as it became engulfed in flames, the sheriff's department said.
The dog died. Archbold was not injured.
Cas began her service as a police dog in April 2017, serving both the Columbia City Police and Whitley Sheriff's departments.