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Career Criminal Killed at House Party, Media Ignore Criminal History

Montell O’Neal Mugshot, Courtesy: St. Joseph County Police Department

AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS STORY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED HERE THAT INCLUDES COURT DOCUMENTS AND NARRATIVES FROM THE ALLEGED CRIMES

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit identified the man killed in a shooting a few miles south of the Notre Dame campus as 24-year-old Montell O’Neal. While the local media has focused on the fact that O’Neal was killed at a house party that appears to have been hosted by Holy Cross students, none have mentioned his long history of violent crime.

According to investigators, O’Neal was shot in the front doorway of the home at 821 East Washington Street around 3:45am on Sunday. The house where the shooting happened is being rented by Holy Cross students, according to investigators. O’Neal went to the party with someone who was acquainted with the renters. O’Neal’s listed address is more than 3 miles away from where he was killed.

O’Neal has been in and out of jail since he was 18 for violent crime. He was convicted of felony intimidation and invasion of privacy in 2015. In 2016, he was convicted of drug charges. In June of 2019, he was arrested on domestic battery charges, those charges were eventually dismissed. Also, in June of 2019, O’Neal was arrested on more drug charges. That case is still pending.

O’Neal has three other cases pending including a Felony Domestic Battery from November of 2019, another Felony Domestic Battery charge from March of 2020 and Misdemeanor Battery from June of 2020.

It has become standard practice for media outlets to ignore the criminal histories of homicide victims. Instead of reporting the facts about a person’s past that could explain how they ended up becoming the victim of a crime, media outlets feel it is their responsibility not to stigmatize criminals.

RNM has requested court documents describing details of O’Neal’s actual and alleged criminal acts. We will update the story once those documents are received.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thank You!! Mr. French!!! Not for just reporting the how,what,where,when, and why, but also for educating the local media ‘how’ it’s supposed to be DONE.

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