APIndiana News

Murder charge sought after stabbed Goshen auto dealer dies

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana car dealer allegedly stabbed several times last month by a man test-driving a car has died, prompting prosecutors to seek a murder charge against the suspect.

Wayne Bontrager, 73, of Goshen, was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds after the Feb. 14 attack. Bontrager died Tuesday at a hospital after his health declined in recent days, his family said.

Authorities said Bontrager, the owner of a Goshen used car lot, was stabbed eight times by Samuel Byfield, 22, on Feb. 14 as Byfield was test-driving a vehicle that he then drove away in, The Elkhart Truth reported.

The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion Wednesday seeking the court’s permission to amend the charging information against Byfield to one count of murder. Byfield was charged with attempted murder and felony robbery resulting in serious injury after the Feb. 14 stabbing and theft north of Goshen.

A petition to revoke Byfield’s bond was also filed Wednesday. He was booked into the county jail on $500,000 bond after his arrest.

A message seeking comment from Byfield’s attorney was left Thursday by The Associated Press.

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