Trial in woman’s slaying to start

GREENFIELD — The trial of a woman accused of master-minding a plot to kill her romantic rival is scheduled to start Monday.

Amanda Gonzales, 28, of Indianapolis, is one of three people charged in the murder of Katrina Miller, who was found dead in a cornfield on Hancock County’s west side last July.

Miller, of Indianapolis, died from a single gunshot wound to the head. She was 23. She left behind a 2-year-old daughter.

The accused triggerman, Joe Meyers, represented himself in a two-week trial last fall and was convicted of murder and kidnapping. He is serving a 75-year sentence in an Indiana Department of Correction facility.

Gonzales’ former boyfriend, Ronnie Westbrook, has a plea agreement pending with the court. The terms require him to testify against Gonzales, who Westbrook said during Meyers’ trial became enraged and plotted Miller’s death after she found Westbrook and Miller in a hotel room together.

In exchange for his testimony against Gonzales, Westbrook will plead guilty to assisting a criminal and face an enhanced sentence because he admits to being a habitual offender.

During Meyers’ trial, the state presented video surveillance evidence showing Westbrook, Meyers and Gonzales getting into a sport utility vehicle together with Miller outside the east side Indianapolis motel where they lived at the time.

Westbrook, who was on parole, was wearing an ankle bracelet with a GPS tracker.

GPS data presented during Meyers’ trial showed that Westbrook wasn’t at the scene of the shooting; he got out of the car not far away from where Miller was found while Meyers and Gonzales continued on with Miller.

Westbrook testified during Meyers’ trial that Meyers shot Miller with Gonzales’ gun.

Westbrook said Gonzales planned to shoot Miller because she was jealous, but she turned the gun over to Meyers when she couldn’t go through with the act.

Instead of going to police, Westbrook kept quiet and concealed his fellow defendants in motel rooms he paid for after Meyers confessed to the shooting, police said.

The prosecutor offered Gonzales a plea deal, but negotiations fell through in recent weeks, court records show.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Hancock County Superior Court 1.

Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton estimated the trial could take two weeks. There are 40 people on the state’s witness list, he said.

Realistically, Eaton said the state will call around 25 or 30 witnesses to testify.

“Obviously, we’re working very hard to present a strong case for the people of the state of Indiana,” Eaton said. “We believe Miss Gonzales needs to be held accountable for her actions.”

Gonzales is represented by Bob Beymer of Portland. He declined to comment.

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Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or nsteele@greenfieldreporter.com.