Chesterton Tribune



Murderer charged with battery at Porter County Jail

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A Porter man convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 62 years in prison is facing the possibility of an additional six-year term, after the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said that he battered a fellow inmate at the Porter County Jail in September.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by the PCSP, at 9:25 a.m. Sept. 30 Thomas Reichler, 20, boiled water in a microwave oven in his pod, then threw it on another inmate, causing burns to the man’s body and damage to his left eye.

Reichler has been charged with battery with serious bodily injury, a Level 5 felony punishable by a term of one to six years.

Reichler is currently an inmate at the Miami Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 62-year sentence in connection with the murder of a Portage man, Alex Tapia. Last fall Reichler was found guilty of shooting Tapia to death in front of his wife and children in the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2014, after Tapia discovered Reichler rifling through his vehicle.

Murder is punishable by a term of 45 to 65 years. Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper sentenced Reichler to nearly the maximum possible, 62 years, with sentences for three other crimes--two counts of theft and one of attempted theft--to run concurrently. In sentencing Reichler, Harper made note of his lengthy criminal history, which began with an arrest at age 11 for arson and burglary.

Reichler’s earliest possible release date--as of today--is Aug. 6, 2068, at which time he will be 71.


Posted 2/8/2017




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