TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — In a Tippecanoe County jury trial, new information is coming to light from the 76-year-old victims of a home invasion, battery and robbery from last summer.
Twenty-four-year-old Joseph Burns is on trial for his role in the crime.
Police say on Aug. 19, 2016, Burns and two others broke into a home on North 28th Street in Lafayette. They allegedly beat up the husband and stole money and other items from the home.
The victims’ accounts were heard in court Tuesday.
The victims say they were sound asleep in their bed, when three masked men came in through a window, pointing two guns and demanding money.
News 18 is not going to name the victims, but the husband was in court to testify against Burns and his wife’s testimony was prerecorded and played for the jury Tuesday morning.
The husband says he was sure the men were going to kill him and his wife. Not just because two of them had guns, but because they threatened to shoot and kill him. That’s why he says he tried fighting one of the men for their gun, but he was hit in the head pretty badly.
The prosecution showed the jury the extent of his wound and the pictures were gruesome and bloody.
In her recording, the wife said the men were all wearing different colored masks – one red, one green and one black. She says she pleaded with the man in a black mask without a gun and said, “please don’t let them hurt my husband.”
That man responded apologetically saying, “He didn’t really want to be there.”
The woman noticed a tear drop tattoo on the man in possibly the green mask pointing the gun.
She explained that the masks were bandanna’s so you could see their eyes and the top of their cheeks but no other parts of their faces.
Burns has a tear drop tattoo on his cheek just under his eye.
Several members of law enforcement also testified for the jury on Tuesday.
One Lafayette police officer talked about how a K-9 was sent to track suspects after the home invasion and ended up finding two shoes in the process.
Those shoes were collected for evidence as well as a bloody sweatshirt found in a trash can outside a home on 30th Street.
That’s the location where Lafayette SWAT, a K-9 unit, detectives, negotiators and patrol officers all surrounded; and found Burns and his co-defendant, Steven Burns II, on the afternoon of Aug. 19 just before they were arrested for the crimes.
The state has not yet revealed to the jury whether those shoes or the sweatshirt connect Joseph Burns to the crime but the jury, which was selected on Monday, is expected to meet again Wednesday to hear more testimony and potentially make a decision by the end of the day.
News 18 will continue following this case and bring you the latest as we get it.