Man sentenced in beating death of ex-Indiana councilman

Keywords Courts / Elkhart / Goshen / Sentence

A man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the beating death of a former northern Indiana city councilman has been sentenced to six years in prison.

WSBT-TV reports Cody Garman of Elkhart learned his punishment Thursday.

Prosecutors say last May, Garman beat 66-year-old David Swartley of Goshen, drove him to a wooded area near the Elkhart River and abandoned him. Swartley died at a hospital.

Authorities said the two met through a Craigslist advertisement for casual sexual encounters.

Garman testified on his own behalf at trial, saying he abandoned Swartley after the beating and lied to police because he was afraid of being charged. Prosecutors had sought a murder conviction.

Swartley was a businessman, former teacher, the founder of a Christian youth group and a two-term Goshen councilman in the 1990s.

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