Elkhart man charged with murder in death of former Goshen councilman

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) 22- year-old Cody Garman is now in the Elkhart County jail after police say he severely beat former Goshen City Councilman David Swartley and left him to die in his car.

Police originally arrested Garman on charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery after Swartley died from head injuries.

Tuesday, Garman was charged with murder after investigators found out what happened.

It turns out the two knew each other. But not personally.

Court documents say they met online after Garman saw Swartley’s personal ad for a “casual encounter.”

After responding to the ad, they texted for awhile. Police say they found a “significant amount of contact” between the two of them on Swartley’s phone.

They planned on meeting up for sex on the morning of Thursday, May 25. Swartley drove to Garman’s house where Garman got into his car.

Garman told police they got in an argument. That’s where things started going wrong.

Charging documents say Garman claims to have punched Swartley at least two times in the head.

Garman then hopped in the front seat of Swartley’s car, leaving Swartley in the back, naked and injured.

He drove about 5 minutes to Ne Ce Dah Avenue. During the drive, Garman says Swartley asked where he was being taken.

Police say Garman got out of the car, took the keys and left Swartley in the car where police found him later that morning after a concerned neighbor called about an an abandoned car.

Police rushed him to the hospital, but he died from severe brain injuries later that night.

Garman is due in court next on June 1st.

Swartley will be cremated after a memorial service Wednesday morning from 10 A.M to 11 A.M. At Faith Lutheran Church in Goshen.

Click here to read the charging documents

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