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Vigil and balloon release for Ohio man stabbed to death outside of Fort Wayne, family still seeking justice

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- A vigil and balloon release for an Ohio man who was stabbed to death in late August in Fort Wayne, his family celebrated his birthday and they want justice.

Court documents say Markese Newman and his friend Shane Peo were drinking and got into an argument the night he died.

"I wake up every day to a nightmare and I feel every emotion, every moment of every day,” Markese’s Dad Charles Newman said.

At the Allen County Courthouse Wednesday evening, family, and friends along with the members of JAVA which stands for "Justice, Accountability and Victims Advocacy" wrote messages in chalk on what would’ve been Markese’s 20th birthday.

Court documents say Newman's friend, Shane Poe and he got into an argument on their way back home to Ohio after a concert in Fort Wayne. Investigators say that's when Poe stabbed Newman to death.

"We thought what better day to come out on his birthday to be a voice for him,” Markese’s Dad  said.

"For us, it's really important. We want to support every family that we possibly can,” Co-founder of JAVA Amy Davis said. “I’m glad that we found him, glad that he found us. It worked out because he can express his pain to us and we understand and we can sympathize with him and it lets us know when to give feedback that we're doing our job."

Newman says getting through each day is difficult. His two daughters say the same thing.

"There is no reasonable situation to take somebody's life. A brother, a son, he's an uncle, he had way more life to live. He's only 20-years-old, he didn't make it to his 20th birthday.” Markese’s sister Precious said.

The evening ended with a balloon release and everyone singing happy birthday. But, Markese's family says the emptiness will never go away and their fight isn't over.

"One friend would have the right to multiply stab the other one to death. I would hope that's not what the state of Indiana would send to their community as a message,” Markese’s Dad said.

"I want justice for my brother. Markese Newman deserves justice,” Precious said. 

Prosecutors confirmed with us that this case is still under investigation pending some test results.

Shane Poe originally faced a felony charge in this case, but was released from custody as prosecutors said they wanted to gather more evidence before deciding how to proceed.

Vince Lovergine

Vince Lovergine joined the WPTA team August 2020 as a multimedia journalist.

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