GARRETT — A Garrett man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the attempted murder of two police officers during a gunfire exchange in Garrett last year.
Joshua D. Mumma, 42, of the 100 block of East Keyser Street, admitted guilt in the attempted murders of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd McCormick and Garrett Police Officer Alicia Castro. Both offenses are Level 1 felonies, and each carries a possible sentence of 20-40 years. Mumma also pleaded guilty to being a habitual offender in one of the charges, which would add a possible 6-20 years to his sentence.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors will dismiss an enhancement for use of a firearm against a police officer in each case, as well as charges of dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony; and disarming a law enforcement officer, a Level 3 felony.
Sentencing will be open to the court. DeKalb Superior Court I Judge Kevin Wallace advised Mumma that if the sentences are ordered to be served consecutively, he would face a sentencing range of 46-100 years.
Mumma was involved in gunfire exchange with the two police officers on the night of April 10, 2018 in the 400 block of Hamsher Street in Garrett.
During Wednesday’s plea hearing, McCormick related details about the incident, and DeKalb County Prosecutor ClaraMary Winebrenner played video footage recorded from McCormick’s vehicle camera.
In considering Mumma’s pleas, Wallace also took judicial notice of an affidavit of probable cause for Mumma’s arrest, filed by Indiana State Police Detective Jake Quick.
McCormick testified he was on patrol on April 10, 2018, when he observed an equipment violation on a vehicle that was being driven by Mumma. McCormick said the vehicle’s window tint was excessively dark, and its license plate lights were not operating. McCormick proceeded to make a traffic stop.
According to McCormick’s testimony and the affidavit, McCormick used his canine partner, which gave a positive alert on the vehicle, indicating the presence of drugs. McCormick said Castro had arrived at the scene, and he told her about the canine alert, the court heard.
McCormick said he told Castro he was going to make contact with the driver — Mumma — and investigate further. Castro went to the passenger side of the vehicle and McCormick went to the driver’s side.
McCormick said Mumma’s window was partially down, and he asked him to step from the vehicle. McCormick said Mumma asked him, “Why?” and failed to comply. McCormick again asked him to exit the vehicle and Mumma failed to comply. This was corroborated by the video played during Wednesday’s hearing.
McCormick testified he expected that he would have to extract Mumma from the vehicle, and he opened the driver’s door. McCormick said Mumma braced himself to prevent McCormick from pulling him out of the vehicle and was digging between the seat and console of the vehicle. McCormick said he caught a glimpse of a gun.
McCormick gave several loud verbal commands for Mumma to step out of the vehicle and saw Mumma with a gun in his hand. McCormick pulled his duty weapon. He told Quick he was not sure if he was able to fire it, the police affidavit said.
“He observed Mr. Mumma firing his gun and he stated, ‘I was unsure of what was hit.’ He told me he began fighting with Mr. Mumma for Mr. Mumma’s weapon. He stated, ‘He was trying to kill me,’” Quick said in the affidavit.
McCormick continued to fight with Mumma over the weapon on the ground and told Quick that he saw Mumma pointing a firearm at Castro. McCormick said he saw Castro shooting Mumma. McCormick said he was able to free a .38 Special handgun from Mumma and tried to fire the weapon at Mumma, but was not sure if it fired, the affidavit said.
During Wednesday’s hearing, McCormick said he knew he had been shot, but did not know where. McCormick sustained gunshot wounds that will permanently impair the function of his hands. He has since returned to duty and now serves as chief deputy sheriff since his appointment at the beginning of the year.
Mumma also was critically injured in the shooting and remained hospitalized for an extended time.
After hearing testimony and watching the video, Wallace accepted Mumma’s pleas and found him guilty of two counts of attempted murder and also of being a habitual offender. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 17 at 1 p.m.
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