The trial for Christopher Stonebraker, a Winamac man accused of raping and battering his ex-wife, came to a close Friday in the Starke Circuit Court when the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on both counts. Deliberation lasted roughly three hours and the verdict was returned at 7 p.m. The defense started their case Friday and called two witnesses to the stand before final arguments were heard.
On Thursday, the state called nine witnesses to the stand, including two detectives, two forensic investigators from the Indiana State Police, the nurse who performed the rape exam on the victim, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, North Judson Town Marshal Doug Vessely, and Starke County dispatcher Dawn Bau, as well as the victim and a close friend.
The trial began on Wednesday in the Starke Circuit Court after a six-hour jury selection process. Stonebraker faced charges of Rape as a Class B felony and D-felony charges of Domestic Battery following his arrest in November, when police allege he raped his ex-wife and pushed her head into a wall, causing her tooth to chip. The probable cause affidavit stated that he also scratched her back in the presence of two children.
Stonebraker was found not guilty of both charges.