Tigner was initially charged as a “John Doe” under a sealed indictment this week. That indictment was unsealed Wednesday following his arrest by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
While not unprecedented, it is unusual for murder suspects to be charged via grand jury indictment in Marion County. Prosecutor Terry Curry explained the decision in a press release Wednesday, citing “complex circumstances in the investigation” that extended its length.
Because Tigner was charged via grand jury indictment, a detailed probable cause affidavit was not immediately available.
A criminal history filed as part of the indictment against Tigner lists drug and firearms charges against him in Marion County dating back to at least 2010.
Court records show Tigner was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2013 for possession of cocaine, with credit for 550 days already served in jail. Tigner’s Indiana Department of Correction record lists his earliest possible release date on that charge as July 26, 2016, but Marion County Jail records show he was arrested on a criminal trespassing charge in Indianapolis on April 11, 2016. He was released the following day – just five days before the fatal shooting on Shriver Avenue.
In April 2017, Tigner was stopped in a vehicle in the 3800 block of North High School Road for a traffic violation. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in that case, Tigner initially gave the name of a male relative. IMPD officers eventually learned his true identity, at which point they realized detectives had placed an alert on him in connection to an ongoing gang investigation.
Inside the vehicle, police found a diaper bag containing a “tub” of baby formula into which a plastic bag filled with marijuana had been stuffed. Police also reported finding an electronic scale covered in a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine.
According to the affidavit, Tigner admitted that he was the owner of the drugs and the scales.
Tigner was charged in that case with dealing in marijuana, neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance and false informing. All of those charges were ultimately dropped in October 2017, however, when the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office informed the court it was declining to prosecute the case.
In addition to the murder charges filed this week, Tigner also faces charges of possession of a narcotic drug, resisting law enforcement and reckless driving in a July 2017 case. An affidavit filed in that case accuses Tigner of possession of a plastic baggie containing methadone pills and six empty prescription bottles with different doctors’ names on them. A change of plea hearing in that case has been scheduled for April 10.
Tigner was scheduled for his initial hearing on the murder charges on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Marion County Criminal Court 1.