A 16-year-old has been arrested and charged with the murder and robbery of Nathan Trapuzzano. Simeon Adams was also allegedly involved in other crimes in the ten days before he attempted to rob Trapuzzano, who was taking a morning walk last week when he was approached by Adams. According to WTHR:
[Indianapolis Police] Chief Rick Hite offered a timeline of Adams’ alleged activities leading up to Trapuzzano’s murder. On March 22, he is alleged to have been involved in a gun store robbery; on March 30th, he is accused of shooting a man on Dr. Martin Luther King St. On April 1, he allegedly murdered Trapuzzano during a mugging, and 17 hours later he was shot.
In the first shooting on March 30th, Adams shot a man who bumped into him outside a steakhouse. The Daily Mail reports:
Adams’ friend Marvell Robinson told detectives he was woken up by the alleged shooter on the morning of April 1 at his home in Indianapolis. Adams told him: ‘Man the police is out here and they are looking for me.’
Robinson told detectives Adams made Nathan strip, according to the court papers. ‘When he told Nathan to take his pants off the victim started reaching for his shoes and Simeon asked him (Nathan) “Why you reaching for your shoes?”. Simeon said the “white man tried to tussle with me so I shot him”‘.
Adams “had previously been arrested for handgun violations, marijuana possession, theft, auto theft, burglary and resisting arrest.” Adams is believed to have killed Trapuzzano and taken his sneakers, T-shirt and sweater in the course of a robbery, not a gang initiation, as previously suspected.
— Comments —
Rita Jane writes:
You will note that the photo of Trapuzzano’s murderer is dated X/16/2010 on the left side. This is Trayvon Martin all over again, with the media using a dated, puppy-faced (three or four years is a lifetime for teenagers!) photo of a killer to make him appear less harmful and horrifying. Of course, it may be the only photo the killer’s relatives provided, and one could see why they’d want their little darling to appear as innocent as possible.
Here is his mug shot:
According to a friend of Adams’s who admitted to being with him during the shooting, Trapuzzano was not killed while he was resisting, police said. He was shot while he had his hands up in the air. According to The Indy Star:
Martez McGraw, brought in for questioning a week after Trapuzzano was killed, admitted to police that he had been with Adams outside the Sunset Strip club and in the tire store parking lot.
The court document summarizes McGraw’s statement about how the two saw Trapuzzano walking east in the 3500 block of West 16th Street just before 6 a.m. April 1, which somewhat conflicts with what another man told police:
“Simeon Adams ran up to Nathan Trapuzzano and ordered him to stop. Simeon Adams then made Nathan Trapuzzano walk between the tire shop (Tron Tire Shop) and the strip club (Club Venus). Simeon Adams made Nathan Trapuzzano strip by telling him to take his shirt off.
“The white male (Trapuzzano) then put his hands in the air and Simeon Adams shot Nathan Trapuzzano,” McGraw said, according to the documents.
Some have expressed sympathy for Adams because he supposedly did not know his father. Actually, his mother had died when he was a baby, but he did have contact with his father, even though he signed over custody of him to an aunt. His father had served two prison sentences for car theft, robbery and gun violations, according to The Indy Star.
The Indy Star reports that by the time Adams was 16, he already a long history of misbehavior. He was first detained by police when he was ten years old. Another incident occurred when he was eleven:
In March 2010, when Adams was 11 and attending the Indiana Math and Science Academy, a friend’s mother accused Adams and two other boys of beating her son.
The boys “had made a derogatory remark about (her son’s) eight-year-old sister,” according to a police report. No charges were ever filed.
When Adams was 13 or 14 he moved to Arlington, Texas, with the aunt, Ratonia Carpenter, who had separated from Adams’ uncle. Although Adams had no history of arrest in Arlington, records say he soon began experiencing trouble in school.
Court documents say Adams was suspended for fighting. Relatives gave officials conflicting statements about whether Adams was ever expelled. [Laura writes: Disruptive students are rarely expelled in some school districts. High expulsion rates are considered a sign of racism. Besides, what's the point of expulsion when a student may end up on the streets or creating problems at home?]
In early 2013, Carpenter decided to send Adams back to Indianapolis to live with his uncle, Albert Carpenter. [Another sign that he was a serious behavior problem at that point.]
“She felt that (Adams) needed a father figure in his life at the time,” records say. “(Adams) reported that he does have a relationship with his father who resides in Indianapolis, but (Adams’) aunt stated that (he) is closer to his uncle than to his father.”
When Adams moved back to Indianapolis, he began attending North Central High School. He was never held back and even began taking night classes to make up for some time he spent away from school.
But the peace didn’t last long. In April 2013, an IMPD officer arrested Adams on burglary and theft charges after he said he found Adams carrying blue latex gloves and a stolen television set. He was detained at the Marion County juvenile center for a few weeks before officials released Adams back to his uncle, telling the boy that he needed to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. In June, officials dismissed the charges after the burglary victim didn’t show up to court.[Great. He just ignored the burglary charge and it was dropped.]
Late last year, Adams’ troubles deepened. He transferred from North Central to Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, and while his grades were middling at North Central, court records say he received mostly F’s at his new school.
Shortly after transferring, he was expelled from Indianapolis Metropolitan for threatening and making inappropriate comments to a teacher, though he was allowed to return later. [He must have done something truly horrendous to have been expelled. But of course they took him back.]
In December, Adams was arrested after police said he stole a car from a gas station, crashed it and fled from police. According to court records, officers found a loaded .38 revolver near a fence that Adams had jumped.
He told a probation department official that he needed the gun for protection but wouldn’t say from whom he needed protection.
Adams faced six charges following that arrest: auto theft, carrying a handgun without a license, possession of marijuana, operating a vehicle without a license, fleeing law enforcement and resisting law enforcement.
He admitted to the auto theft and resisting law enforcement charges in a plea deal, though it’s unclear whether that deal was finalized. The other charges were dismissed. [He was a serious outlaw at that point but he was soon on the streets again.]
Albert Carpenter told court officials that he wished his nephew would make better decisions for himself.
“If (Adams) chooses to continue making the wrong choices,” Carpenter said in court documents, “it is going to solely be on him and he will have to suffer the consequences of such.” [Unfortunately, others suffered some consequences too.]