Princeton, Ind. - Charges have been upgraded in the death of a 21-year-old Vincennes man that happened last Friday. Claude Arender is now charged with murder after a probable cause hearing this afternoon. Arender was initially facing voluntary manslaughter in the death of Raheim Bright. The shooting happened outside a Princeton home where Arender was staying.
Princeton, Ind. - A 21 year old Vincennes man is dead after an early morning altercation in Princeton.
Princeton Chief W.W. George told Eyewitness News, " I'm not for sure if it was over a girl but there's a possibility that that took place".
No one knows what started a fight at a Princeton home but, it resulted in Raheim Bright losing his life and Claude 'Poppa' Arender being charged with voluntary manslaughter. Princeton police say after a night of partying at a Princeton bar Bright along with three other men were invited to the home by Arender's daughter. Arender's fiancee spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News about the events leading to Bright's death.
She says, "we were asleep and I heard some ruckus outside. A bunch of screaming and hollering and I saw a man hitting on my step-son, fighting with my sons. I went out and tried to break it up and then I don't know who it was, the individual started to hit me".
Arender's fiancee says everyone was asked to leave and that 'Poppa' became involved in escorting the men outside. From there the scuffle escalated outside the home. Claude 'Poppa' Arender told police he brought his gun outside with no intentions of shooting anyone but, to intimidate the men into leaving the property. Arender's son and Bright were fighting outside when police say Claude repeatedly struck [Bright] him in the head with his gun four times before it fired. Bright was later pronounced dead by the Vanderburgh County Coroner. In today's proceedings both families were present to hear the evidence against Arender who is from Louisiana.
Bright's cousin, Kenna Berry says she did not know who shot him until the court hearing.
"Today's the first time we've even heard of this person and then we find out they're from out of town. Every time something like this would even happen here in Princeton or something it's usually people from out of town that come in and do this kind of of stuff to hurt people", she cries.
"Princeton has always been like a close knit family", Berry added.
Bright's cousin, Conisha Ballard calls this a senseless killing.
"I'm devastated, I'm angry. He didn't deserve what happened to him he was a loving person. All of his family loved him and I feel like the situation could have been handled differently than what it was", said Ballard.
Arender's family maintains that this was an unfortunate accident. The next hearing in the case will be on July 17th. Bond is set at $500,000.00. Judge Penrod says Arender is not allowed to leave Indiana.