Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man accused of fatally shooting a young Indiana police officer last month during an early morning traffic stop, officials announced Wednesday.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said his office consulted with relatives of slain Elwood police Officer Noah Shahnavaz, the Indiana attorney general's office and prosecutors experienced in handling death penalty cases.
Cummings said “the unanimous decision" was to pursue the death penalty against Carl Roy Webb Boards II, the Anderson man charged with murder, resisting law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon in the slaying of Shahnavaz.
“The death sentence is the law in the state of Indiana and if it was going to be pursued this is the kind of case where it needs to be pursued,” Cummings said during a news conference in Anderson with police officials, other prosecutors and the late officer's relatives.
Cummings recently requested an additional $50,000 for his 2023 budget in anticipation of filing a death penalty request in the case.
Boards, 42, is accused of fatally shooting Shahnavaz, 24, through the windshield of his police cruiser early on July 31 in Elwood, about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis.
Shahnavaz had joined the Elwood Police Department about 11 months earlier. His father spoke with emotion during the news conference after placing his late son’s sunglasses onto a podium.
“He loved those sunglasses. He has those beautiful blue eyes, supersensitive to sunlight, so if you saw Noah you knew a pair of shades would be close by,” Matt Shahnavaz said.
He said colleagues at the Elwood Police Department would tease his son about how he perched his sunglasses on the back of his head, ready for use when needed — a habit he began in childhood.
“If you want a small, simple way that you can remember Noah, wear your sunglasses on the back of your head, Noah-style,” Shahnavaz said, before placing his son's glasses on his own head that way.
The Associated Press left messages seeking comment on Wednesday's announcement for Boards' attorney, Joe Duepner. Boards faces a Sept. 30 pretrial conference.