Fort Wayne suspect Deyante Stephens has June trial in deaths of two women, unborn baby scheduled at hearing, then dispute breaks out in Allen County courtroom
A hearing to set a five-day trial for a man accused of killing two women, one of whom was pregnant, was followed by several people being ejected from the Allen County Superior courtroom after a dispute erupted.
Deyante Antuan Stephens, 26, of the 8700 block of Beacon Woods Place, had a jury trial set for June 11-16 by Magistrate Samuel R. Keirns on Wednesday. Stephens faces three counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Preonda M. Jones, 37, of Fort Wayne, and Brianna R. Gould, 24, of Fort Wayne, who was pregnant with a son she was calling Legend James Gould. He also faces a charge of firearm used in the commission of an offense. He initially was charged with two counts of murder, but the third count was added after the Allen County coroner determined that Gould’s son would have lived if he had not been shot. Both women were found shot at around 6:30 a.m. Jan. 20 in a home in the 1200 block of Lillie Street.
Stephens also had a pretrial hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 8.
As Stephens waited in the jury box with other suspects and the next case was called, a woman seated in the public area of the courtroom started to raise her voice against another woman whom she told not to talk to her. A dispute broke out. As the suspects leaned on the edges of their seats, court officials ordered the women out. Other members seated in the audience had already been told to leave by court security, who then escorted some of them out of the courthouse after expletives and a threat of assault were made in the hallway.
Keirns suspended the hearing until the women were cleared.