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Not-guilty plea entered in Indiana freezer body case

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 12:40 pm

KOKOMO — A judge entered a not-guilty plea Wednesday on behalf of a central Indiana man charged with killing a homeless friend whose decomposing body was found in an unplugged freezer.

A Howard County judge also set a March trial date for 52-year-old Walter Logan, who was charged with murder Monday. Police found the body of 29-year-old Alex Shipp in a freezer in the basement of Logan's home in Kokomo on Sunday.

A public defender has yet to be appointed for Logan.

Court documents say Logan told investigators that he and Shipp had known each other for about two years and had a sexual relationship. He said that one night, about four weeks before Shipp's body was found, the men got drunk, did drugs and had sex. Afterward, Logan said Shipp became belligerent and wanted to fight, the documents say. Logan said he bound Shipp's hands and feet and placed tape over his nose and mouth. Then Logan fell asleep.

He told police that when he awoke, he thought Shipp was dead but removed the tape and went back to sleep. When he awoke again, he said, he was certain Shipp was dead, but he waited about six hours before hauling his body to the basement.

Logan told police he removed the shelving from the upright freezer and laid it on its back. He then stuffed Shipp's body inside the freezer, which was not plugged in, the affidavit states.

Police went to Logan's home looking for Shipp after the younger man's mother had posted flyers that produced a tip. Logan told police he had been expecting them and led them through the stinking house to the basement freezer.

Detective Michael Banush said investigators don't know whether Logan had intended to kill Shipp, but he should have realized that taping him so he couldn't breathe would be fatal.

Logan told police he tried to kill himself by ingesting pills and wrote a suicide note, but he fell asleep before he could finish writing it.

Logan served about three years in prison on a drug-dealing conviction, according to Indiana Department of Correction records.