Pond Now Faces Murder Charge for Shooting of 4-Year-Old

By Scott Sarvay
By Max Resnik
By Megan Trent

August 8, 2011 Updated Aug 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM EDT

WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Charges escalate against the Ossian man police say fatally shot a four-year-old boy fishing on a pier with his father.

After reviewing all of the evidence, the Wells County Prosecutor believes he can prove 46-year-old Bruce Pond intentionally shot four-year-old Jacob Michuda on July 22nd.

In court Monday, the original charge of Reckless Homicide was amended to a Murder charge. Pond's $100,000 bail was also revoked under the terms of the new charge.

Court reports say Pond was intoxicated and aiming at an "annoying light" when he shot Michuda in the head with a rifle.

Pond, who has a criminal history of violence, is also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Domestic Batterer. He was still on probation for that offense when he allegedly violated a no contact order on July 26th.

Monday, he was formally charged with Invasion of Privacy for the alleged probation violation.

Meanwhile, it seems everyone in the small town of Ossian has been touched by the tragedy.

Schaun Karst is a former classmate of both of Michuda's parents. She says, "I cried. I couldn't imagine if that was one of my kids - losing one of my children that way to somebody just not caring; not bothering to think."

Karst says the Murder charge is more appropriate than Reckless Homicide. "I think justice would be at least some jail time and definitely seeing the family get what they feel is right, because I think that's what is most important here."

Pond's maximum sentence if convicted on the original homicide and firearm charges amounted to nine years in prison. If convicted on all three current charges, Pond could be sentenced to a maximum of 69 years behind bars.

The next scheduled court date for Pond is Monday, August 15th at 9:00 a.m. The judge is expected to hear arguments on the prosecution's motion to compel fingerprints and DNA from Pond.

Bruce Pond, the man police say killed 4-year-old Jacob Michuda in late July, now faces a murder charge after the Wells County Prosecutor amended the reckless homicide charge.

The Wells County Prosecutor says that after further investigation and discussion with witnesses, he now believes he can prove intent. The prosecutor believes that Pond knowingly and intentionally shot Jacob Michuda while the boy was standing on a pier with his father and friends fishing.

Pond told police that he was aiming for an annoying light.

Because the charge has been amended, Pond now faces the charges of murder, possession of a weapon as a convicted domestic batterer and invasion of privacy for violating a restraining order.

Ossian resident Teresa Dunnuck, like many Indiana’s NewsCenter spoke with Friday, says Pond is getting what he deserves.

“It took some premeditation on his part to first of all be agitated as he said, and then to go get a gun and then point it at a light, a moving light, in an area where he knew there was a pond. I just believe that is first degree murder.”

Pond will appear in a Wells County courtroom Monday afternoon.

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