Ossian Man Charged in 4-Year-Old's Death in Court

By Krystal Shull
By John W. Davis
By Eric Olson
By Megan Trent

July 25, 2011 Updated Jul 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM EDT

UPDATE: Ossian, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The man charged with fatally shooting a 4-year-old boy in the head makes his first appearance in court.

46-year-old Bruce Pond of Ossian faces charges of Reckless Homicide, a Class C Felony, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Domestic Batterer, a Class A Misdemeanor.

Officials with the Wells County Sheriff's Department say Pond shot 4-year-old Jacob Michuda while the little boy was standing on a pier behind an abandoned home while his father and friends fished in a pond.

In court Monday, Pond asked for a court appointed attorney. He said he could not afford to hire an attorney on his own, because he hasn't been employed for about a year due to an injury. Pond says his mother, who he was living with at the time, pays for everything from his cell phone to his vehicle.

The judge, however, is requiring that Pond pay $100 towards attorney fees through the court.

The prosecutor in the case successfully asked the judge to raise the typical C Felony bail from $10,000 to $100,000 due to the circumstances surrounding the case.

The prosecutor told the judge Pond was a risk to the community, and was on probation for Domestic Battery at the time of the shooting. They also cited other battery charges out of Wells County in the past.

According to the prosecutor, Pond was also intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

If convicted on both charges and given the maximum, Pond could be sentenced to nine years behind bars. However, since Pond allegedly broke the terms of his probation, he could also serve the remainder of his Domestic Battery conviction in prison as well.

If Pond does post bail, the judge has issued a no contact order for the victim's family. Since the families live so close to one another off 900 North in Ossian, the judge also told Pond he could not live within one mile of the victim's family. Pond agreed and said, "I don't want them to have any more heartache than God knows they've already gone through."

A Not Guilty plea was entered by the judge on Pond's behalf, and Pond will have 20 days to change that plea if desired. Pond's next status hearing is scheduled for August 10th at 2:00pm. He will also have a pretrial conference on September 12th at 8:15am.

Ossian, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - "Senseless." That's how Wells County Sheriff Monty Fisher described the shooting death of a 4-year-old boy in Ossian.

Indiana's NewsCenter spoke with several family members Sunday afternoon.

They said they were not ready to give an official statement but wanted everyone to know that police and other first responders did everything they could to save Jacob Michuda's life.

According to the Wells County Sheriff's Department, Jacob and his father and a few friends were fishing at a nearby pond behind a vacant home located at 3936 East 900 North in Ossian.

Jake was standing on a pier, when he was shot in the head.

He was rushed to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.

He died a few hours later early Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the Wells County Sheriff's Department has arrested 46-year-old Bruce Pond.

Pond will appear in county Monday at 1 p.m.

He will be charged with reckless homicide.

"Anytime a child is lost... this was really senseless thing to happen. It's hard on everybody," said Wells County Sheriff Monty Fisher.

"All the officers and all the emergency medical people that responded, gonna have a debriefing to help them because it affects everybody, especially when it's a young child," explained Fisher.

Indiana's NewsCenter asked Sheriff Fisher if alcohol was involved, Fisher told us he could not say.

We also asked Sheriff Fisher why Pond was allegedly out shooting at 11 p.m., again Fisher told us he could not say.

However, we did learn the stray bullet flew at least a few hundred feet before it fatally wounded the four-year-old.

Meanwhile, during Pond's preliminary hearing, we should learn more details about the shooting death of Jake Michuda.

We'll have the latest Monday evening on Indiana's NewsCenter.


Meanwhile, visitation and funeral services have been announced.

According to Goodwin Memorial Chapel's website:

Visitation will be Tuesday, July 26, 2011, from noon until 8:00 P.M. at the Lancaster Elementary School.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday morning at 11:00 A.M. at the school, with Tony Chaney officiating.

A private family Ceremony of Angels Mass will be held following the service at the St. Aloysius Church in Yoder.

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