The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 31, 2019 1:00 am

Jury finds man guilty of barber's murder

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Jurors on Wednesday convicted James Dodson Jr. of murder in the April shooting death of a local barber. 

Dodson, 35, was charged with murder and criminal recklessness in the April 9 shooting death of Michael LoVett Jr., 46, outside LoVett's barbershop on Lake Avenue, near North Anthony Boulevard. He also faced a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime. 

Jurors returned guilty verdicts on each of the counts following a three-day trial in Allen Superior Court. 

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Nov. 25. 

Police said Dodson was a customer at The Legendary Barbershop when he left the business around 5:30 p.m. and returned about a half-hour later. He was one of three men who confronted LoVett before the business owner was killed, according to court documents, though only Dodson was charged. 

Detective Sgt. Timothy Hughes, who heads the Fort Wayne Police Department's homicide division, said after the verdict was read that “homicide detectives will continue to aggressively investigate the murder in hopes of identifying and apprehending the second shooter.”

LoVett's girlfriend, who is not named in court documents, told investigators he and Dodson argued and “it was so intense that Michael did not finish cutting James' hair.” LoVett was shot shortly after.

Dodson – wearing “a multicolored jacket, yellow pants and a white T-shirt” – can be seen on video taken from a surveillance camera from a nearby gas station moving toward the front of the barbershop and confronting LoVett, a probable cause affidavit alleged.

About 20 shell casings were found at the scene. 

Jamie Duffy of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

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