Marion man gets 55 years in death of victim found in forest

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A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to 55 years for the 2018 slaying of a man who was found beaten to death with a pipe in a state forest.

A Miami County judge on Tuesday sentenced Ethan Cain, 24, who will serve about 50 years of his sentence in state prison. The Marion man had pleaded guilty last year to felony murder in the death of Drake Smith, 22.

The victim, who was from Summitville, was found dead in May 2018 by mushroom hunters inside the Frances Slocum Forest, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

According to court documents, police said Cain and fellow defendants Joshua Kean and Brittany Morris were involved in a plot to rob Smith of drugs and money. That plot allegedly led all four to the state forest, where police say Cain and Kean beat Smith to death with a metal pipe.

Police said Cain, Kean and Morris then fled the scene with Smith’s clothing, cash, drugs, beer and a small speaker. Mushroom hunters found Smith’s body in the woods the same day he was slain.

Days later, Cain and Kean were arrested in southern California.

The cases against Morris and Kean are ongoing. Morris faces a pretrial conference on Feb. 10, while Kean’s pretrial conference it set for March 24.

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