The Porter man who police say actually stole the handgun
allegedly used by another Porter man to fatally shoot a Portage resident in
December--during a vehicle entry gone bad--would see only six months in
jail, under a plea deal struck with the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s
Under that deal, Korey Brandon Izynski, 19, with a listed
address of 637 Wood St., would plead guilty to a single count of Level 6
theft, in exchange for which two other Level 6 counts--theft and attempted
theft--would be dismissed.
Izynski would then be sentenced to the maximum term for a
Level 6 offense--two and a half years--but with two years of that sentence
suspended and served on formal probation. The six non-suspended months
Izynski would serve in the Porter County Jail, where Izynski’s been held
since his arrest on Dec. 12.
Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel did confirm on Tuesday
that, as a condition of the deal, Izynski will be required to testify in the
murder trial of Thomas Elliot Reichler, accused of shooting to death Alex
Tapia after Tapia confronted him in the act of stealing from the man’s
The handgun which police say Reichler used in the
shooting--a Ruger 9mm LC9--had been reported stolen only three days earlier
from a Chesterton resident’s unlocked vehicle, parked in the 600 block of
North Calumet Road.
Police say further that Izynski is in fact the one who
stole the Ruger but later traded it to Reichler for a FN Herstal
semi-automatic pistol which Reichler had stolen only two hours before the
shooting, from a vehicle parked in the 100 block of Taylor Street in
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by
Portage Police, the shooting occurred around 5:30 a.m. Dec. 12, after Tapia,
a resident of the 6000 block of Mill Run Ave., heard his dog bark and was
alerted to three male subjects entering a car parked in his driveway. Tapia
confronted them and yelled “Freeze,” prompting two of them--later identified
as Izynski and Nathaniel Todd Sipe, 19, with a listed address of 677 E. U.S.
Highway 6 in Jackson Township--to flee on foot, police said. But Reichler,
still inside the vehicle, was unable to follow his confederates and Tapia
“was able to gain control of him,” police said.
Tapia was leading Reichler to his porch, pending the
arrival of officers, when “a scuffle ensued,” during which Reichler fired
one round from the Ruger, striking Tapia in the torso, police said. Tapia,
who was himself armed, returned fire, shooting at least twice and hitting
Reichler above the left wrist and in the right arm, police said.
Reichler dropped the Ruger at the scene, police said, and
fled down the street to where Izynski had parked his vehicle and together
the two waited while EMS personnel treated Tapia, police said. Izynski then
drove Reichler to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City, where
Reichler was treated for his wounds.
“Prior to the shooting, the three admitted to breaking
into approximately 15 cars in Portage,” police said.
Reichler, 18, with a listed address of 405 Strongbow
Trail, is charged with murder, attempted theft, and possession of stolen
Sipe is charged with theft.
Izynski was also initially charged with assisting a
criminal committing murder but in February Porter Superior Court Judge Bill
Alexa accepted the state’s motion to dismiss that charge. At the same
hearing in February Alexa set bond for Izynski at $10,000 surety and $1,500
cash. Izynski, unable to make that bond, has remained jailed. Sentencing is
scheduled for April 24.
Prosecuting Attorney Gensel told the Tribune that
the state’s case against Reichler is a solid one and not in need of
Izynski’s testimony, which under the circumstances Gensel referred to as
“icing on the cake.”