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Madison County prosecutor to seek death penalty for suspect in Elwood officer's killing

"If there was ever a case that called for the death penalty, this is it," said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Madison County prosecutor will be seeking the death penalty for the suspect in the July 31 shooting and killing of Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz

"If there was ever a case that called for the death penalty, this is it," said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings. Cummings said Shahnavaz's family was included in the decision to seek the death penalty.

"My family misses Noah more than words can express. We want everyone to remember Noah," said Matt Shahnavaz, Noah's father. He said Noah had bright blue eyes and was known for having sunglasses on him all the time. He asked that people remember Noah by wearing their sunglasses on the back of their head.

Credit: WTHR
Matt Shahnavaz, Noah's father, wears sunglasses during a press conference about his son's death. He later put them on the back of his head and asked that people remember his son by doing the same.

Cummings already told members of the Madison County Council that a death penalty case could cost up to $400,000, according to our partners at the Herald Bulletin.

Cummings asked the council for an additional $50,000 in the 2023 budget in anticipation of the filing of the death penalty against 42-year-old Carl Roy Web Boards II.

Bryan Williams, the chief public defender, told the council that if the prosecutor’s office files for the death penalty against Boards, he has to be represented by two attorneys that are death penalty certified.

RELATED: 'He will be missed more than words can express': Fallen Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz laid to rest

He said that currently there are no attorneys in the county that have that certification and the county would have to hire an attorney from outside Madison County.

This, among other things necessary for the case, comes at a hefty price. 

For reference, the last time Madison County took up a death penalty case was in 2005 at a cost of $300,000.

It was the case against Fred Baer, a man accused of killing a Lapel mother and her 7-year-old daughter in 2004. Baer was initially sentenced to death for the murders on June 9, 2005, but that sentence was overturned by an appeals court. He ultimately made a plea agreement of life imprisonment without parole for both murders in 2019.

In officer Shahnavaz's killing, Boards faces the charges of murder, resisting law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

He's accused of killing Shahnavaz during a traffic stop on July 31, less than a year after he was released from parole for a 2006 incident where he fired at Indianapolis police officers. 

Credit: WTHR

Mike Kavanaugh, one of the officers who was fired upon, wrote a Facebook post decrying Boards' release. 

"Officer SHAHNAVAZ should still be alive. Boards should still be in prison," Kavanaugh wrote.

RELATED: IMPD officer shot at by Elwood suspect in 2006 reacts to killing of officer

He explained he was frustrated because Boards was charged with attempted murder, but found not guilty. He also only served 13 of the 25 years he was sentenced to for the charges he was found guilty of. 

Those charges include carrying a handgun without a license, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, felony resisting law enforcement, possession of a controlled substance, and criminal recklessness.  

Credit: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Carl Roy Webb Boards II, 42, of Anderson, is accused of fatally shooting Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz.

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