Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 27, 2013

Ind. appeals court upholds man's murder conviction

The Associated Press

Muncie — The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of a man who's serving a 65-year sentence for killing a woman whose body was set on fire.

A Delaware Circuit Court jury convicted 26-year-old Terry D. Rutledge last year of murder and obstruction of justice in the slaying of 40-year-old Tonia Ingram, whose body was set on fire along a Muncie street.

The Star Press reports the appeals court rejected the Muncie man's contention the judge who heard his case failed to give jurors appropriate instructions before they deliberated. Rutledge also argued the judge should not have allowed the jury to hear testimony about text messages Rutledge allegedly sent immediately after Ingram's death.

The court found that there's "a reasonable probability" Rutledge sent those text messages.