Barney Jose Chamorro has admitted to police that he murdered three people in a rural Whitestown home on Feb. 25, according to court records.
Chamorro is accused of stabbing to death his father, Alejandro Chamorro Sr., 51, his twin brother, Alejandro Chamorro Jr., 19, and Judy Schindler, 55, in her home, just outside the Whitestown town limits at 101 Hull St.
Whitestown Police Det. James Fouch said, “That’s correct,” after Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer asked him whether Chamorro had “admitted to murdering these three people, correct?” during a court hearing asking for search warrants on March 11. A transcript of that hearing was obtained by The Lebanon Reporter Thursday; the document is public record.
When contacted by e-mail, Meyer said he could not comment about the transcript. The transcript, filed March 15, was found by a reporter making a routine follow-up of Chamorro’s case.
Michael Gross, Chamorro’s court-appointed attorney, said, “that’s the first I’ve heard of it,” when asked about his client’s admission.
“I’m just getting information in bits and pieces,” Gross said.
Asked how the admission might affect a plea agreement, Gross said, “Oh, everything is part and parcel of plea negotiations, but none are active right now.”
At the March 11 hearing, Meyer was asking Superior Court II Judge Rebecca McClure to grant search warrants for a Pontiac Grand Am owned by Chamorro Jr. and for cell phones owned by Schindler.
Although the transcript gives no clue about a motive, it does detail Chamorro’s actions on Feb. 25 to 26, before his capture Feb. 27 by police at an Interstate 20 rest stop in Pyote, Texas.
Chamorro, according to Fouch’s testimony, crashed Schindler’s Chevrolet Silverado pickup somewhere in the Zionsville area after committing the murders. Chamorro had the truck towed to a Marathon gas station on Ind. 334, where the tire was repaired.
While waiting for the truck to be fixed, Chamorro took his twin brother’s car and “for several hours” drove through Lebanon, Zionsville and Whitestown.
He bought cigarettes and snacks at the Walmart in Lebanon; went to Witham Memorial Hospital for treatment of his right hand, which was “badly injured as part of an attack on the three victims;” and stopped at several ATMs, getting cash with a card registered to his father.
Police had reason to believe Chamorro had tried to bandage his wounds while he was in the Grand Am, Fouch said at the hearing.
McClure authorized the warrants, giving police permission to search the Grand Am for weapons, phone bills, snack foods, “any paper,” “medical center receipts or invoices or instructions, bandages, clothing, shoes, blood” and other items.
The cell phone warrants allowed police to examine calls and GPS coordinates.
In an early e-mail sent Thursday, March 25, Meyer said he has not decided whether he will seek the death penalty for Chamorro, who also is charged with burglary, robbery, theft and auto theft.
Burglary and robbery are considered “aggravators” under Indiana law, allowing the state to seek the death penalty if they were committed during a murder. Chamorro faces a maximum sentence of 231 years unless sentenced to death; his trial is scheduled for June 15.