David Lawton

Lakeville man charged for murder in suspected love triangle

August 20, 2009

28-year-old Arden Balmer is formally charged for murder and criminal confinement. Court documents reveal Balmer asked his ex-girlfriend and a friend to meet at his house where the shooting and stand-off happened.

The investigation continues into a homicide in rural St. Joseph County.

28-year-old Arden Balmer Jr. of Lakeville is now being charged with murder and criminal confinement. Balmer is accused of shooting his friend and holding his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint.

According to court documents, Balmer confronted his ex-girlfriend and the man Balmer thought was her new boyfriend at his parent's house in Lakeville.

Police were called out just before noon by Alexandra Stahly, Balmer's ex-girlfriend.

Stahly told police Balmer called her asking her to come over. When she arrived she saw David Lawton there as well.

Balmer allegedly took Stahly and David Lawton out to the back yard.

Court documents say Balmer accused Lawton of "taking her away from me." He then pulled out a handgun and shot Lawton multiple times. Stahly said Balmer believed Lawton and Stahly were seeing each other, but they were not.

Neighbors in the area heard the shots.

“It didn't dawn on me until last night on the news that that is what I heard. It was probably the pingin'. It was probably the gunshots because it was like a rapid fire noise,” says neighbor Douglas Sweeney.

Balmer fled the area but came back to his house to hide where a 3 hour stand-off started.

It ended when he was shot in the shoulder by police. Police say a number of weapons were taken from the home including a handgun that had been fired at least 6 times.

The parents were not home when the shooting happened.


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