Login NowClose 
Sign In to thecouriertimes.com           
Forgot Password

Man convicted for murder of former Henry County resident

By Eldon Pitts - For The Courier-Times

A jury in Delaware Circuit Court 5 has found a Muncie man guilty of murder and other charges in the Feb. 9, 2017, fatal shooting of Zackary M. Farmer, 20, a former Middletown resident. Farmer was a 2015 graduate of Shenandoah High School.

The jury deliberated more than four hours Wednesday before finding Marcus D. Hanyard, 24, guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit burglary and attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in connection with the fatal shooting that occurred at the home of Isaiah Davis in the 800 block of West Main St. in Muncie.

The jury also found Hanyard guilty of possession of a firearm by a serious violent offender. Hanyard was convicted of robbery in 2016.

Delaware County Deputy Prosecutors Zach Craig and Doug Mawhorr presented the state’s case during the seven-day trial. Defense attorney Michael Quirk represented Hanyard.

During closing arguments, prosecutors acknowledged there was no testimony about Hanyard firing the shots that killed Farmer. Craig told jurors the murder count did not allege that Hanyard fired the fatal shots, but that he was involved in the attempt to steal drugs and money from Farmer’s friends at the Muncie residence.

Hanyard “wanted what was in that house, drugs and money,” Craig said. “That set in motion the events that led to Zack Farmer’s death.”

With a photo of Hanyard being shown to jurors, Mawhorr said, “The greed of that man pictured there is what caused all of this to happen. Greed was driving this train.”

Prosecutors said that Hanyard suffered a “grazing” bullet wound to the back of his leg as he was fleeing from the house, when Davis returned gunfire at intruders in his home. They said Hanyard did not seek medical attention for the wound because he didn’t want police to know he had been shot.

Quirk told the jury, however, that Hanyard’s DNA was not found at the scene. “If he was shot here, where was the DNA?” Quirk asked.

Quirk claimed police did “an extremely poor job” of investigating the homicide.

Mawhorr said Quirk wanted the jury to believe it was a “botched investigation,” but noted 266 pieces of evidence were presented during the trial, 19 of which were sent to the Indiana State Police lab.

“Tens of thousands of extraction reports” were made on data pulled from eight cell phones, he said. Police interviewed 41 witnesses in the case, he said, which involved “thousands of man hours.”

Prosecutors reminded jurors that police found an Internet image of Davis’ house on Hanyard’s phone.

Witness Matt Fisher said he told Hanyard and others there were often large amounts of drugs and money in Davis’ residence. Fisher said he gave Hanyard’ Davis’ street address because the defendant wanted to buy drugs there.

But Mawhorr said Fisher could have given Hanyard Davis’ phone number if he wanted to set up a drug buy. Hanyard “didn’t want to buy drugs, he wanted to steal drugs,” Mawhorr added.

A friend of the defendant said Hanyard told him he got shot during “a robbery that went south,” Mawhorr told the jury. “The robbery went south,” Mawhorr said. “He got shot. And Zack Farmer got killed while that robbery went south.”

Quick claimed that Davis “manipulated” the crime scene by trying to hide drugs, guns and money immediately after the fatal shooting.

In the end, Craig told the jury, “a 20-year-old kid was riddled with bullets and left for dead.”

Prosecutors “want you to make all these jumps from this to that. And therefore (Hanyard) did it,” Quirk said to the jury.

“Mr. Farmer did not deserve what happened. This was a horrible thing,” Quirk concluded. But he asked the jury not to compound the situation by convicting someone who was not guilty.

Hanyard did not testify during the trial.

Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. set Hanyard’s sentencing for 1 p.m. April 5 in Delaware Circuit Court 5.

Phone calls to Craig and Quirk for comment were not immediately returned.