The Elkhart 4: A Burglary Gone Wrong

Part 1: Four Indiana teenagers are convicted of murdering their friend, even though none of them fired the gun.
7:20 | 07/27/14

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Transcript for The Elkhart 4: A Burglary Gone Wrong
We all know teenagers don't always make the smartest choices. But tonight, we're going to tell you about five friends who will never escape one really bad decision. It involved the house across the street and an unexpected encounter with a neighbor. In an instant, their lives and a small American town changed forever. I heard a bang and then I heard another bang and then I heard a couple more bangs afterward. This story begins on an afternoon much like any other and ends with a twist no one saw coming. Five young friends gather on this porch and make an impulsive decision. In an instant, one of them is dead and the others lives shatters. Got off school that day. We came up with a dumb plan, you know. Blake is just 16 years old. The oldest of three kids and a sophomore in high school. He was the type of boy that, if we were driving down the road and somebody had a flat tire, I was pulling over. He would get out and help. He was that type of kid. One of his closest friends is 17-year-old Levi. They grew up together. Friends here, that spent every day together. Yeah. On this day, Blake and Levi are hanging out with a few of their other friends, including danzel. All kind of ended up together and just kept getting stupider, you know? Someone suggests finding a house to rob. They could use some extra cash. When you were scoping out houses, what were you looking for? Empty house. Why an empty house? It was just a plan to get quick money. It was never a plan to hurt anyone or to even confront anyone. Were any of you armed? No. After checking a couple of nearby houses, they settle an a home they see every day. The one just across the street. You're convinced nobody's inside. We had knocked before, beforehand, you know, and, I mean, knocked -- Loud. Knocked. Levi chooses to stay behind on the porch. At that point, you didn't say, hey, hey, fellas, this is a bad idea. I could have, but no, I didn't. He says one of the friends asks him to be a lookout. He was okay, if anyone comes, call us and they took off. So, when you got into the house, who kicked down the door? Danzel. There was a boom and my whole house shook. This is the testimony of Rodney Scott, the homeowner. Turns out, he was home, upstairs, taking a nap. If someone was going to break into my house, I better get my gun. And how far did you get in? Well, I ran to the kitchen and the bedroom. Bedroom on the ground floor. Yeah. And then what did you hear? First thing I heard was gunshots. Fear comes over you and you don't know if you're going to get hurt or you're going to get killed. That's when I decided I was going to fire my gun and try to trap them. The gunshots started, turn around and run away from the gun. You were hiding. Yeah, the closet was the only space to go. I was shot as I was entering the closet. Did you know? No, I felt something warm, I came up with a handful of blood. That's when you realized -- I was shot. In the leg. That's the out. That's the out. And the entry wound is there. And then Blake realizes something else. Danzel is slumped next to him, shot in the chest. He died in your arms? He died in between, like, right in between me and Jose, like, as we were both right there next to him. And I remember screaming "I'm sorry" just over and over again. To whom were you sorry? The homeowner, I was sorry, period, you know. I was sorry for it all. What startled out as a teenage impulse has now left one of them dead. This is when Levi says his friends call him to come to the house for help. Ill just stepped inside that doorway, look over and the guy was holding the gun at me. I threw my hands up and he told me to get out of his house and I said "I'm sorry" and I took off. The terrifying news that there's been a shooting on her street ricochets around the small town. Unable to get her son, Angie Johnson starts to fear the worst. One's passed away, you know, one is living, and so, it's like, I didn't know if mine was alive or not. Angie is getting ready to rush to the hospital when local police tell her Blake's already been treated and released from the hospital. But the relief did not last long. Did you get to see him? No, I never got to see him. Angie soon finds out her 16-year-old son is in police custody. As for best friend Levi, his own mother takes him to be questioned. The police department called me and wanted to interview Levi. So, I took him in, did his questioning. I took him home. If she or anyone thought it was all just a tragic mishap, they were in for a rude shock. They called me and said that he had been arrested for murder. That's right. Murder. Felony murder. Because when someone's killed during certain crimes, in this case, burglary, everyone committing that crime can be held responsible. Even though none of them pulled the trigger. Or even had a gun. That's one of the hardest parts about the whole thing was explaining to these kids that they were being charged with murder. They didn't understand. I didn't really comprehend it. I didn't put my mind around what I was about to go through. Murder? Okay, they don't know what happened. Maybe they think we hurt him. My thought was still, okay, it will get cleared up. But there's no misunderstanding. Charged as adults, they're all facing the possibility of decades in prison for the death of their friend. Even though there was no intent to kill, even the guy who was just the lookout. Did it occur to you when your friends were crossing the street that somebody could get killed? No. Due to the simple fact that nobody answered the door, no one was home, so, where could the harm be done? These are our children. These are our kids that made a huge mistake that day, but never hurt anyone. Felony murder is controversial. It's not even on the books in every state. I don't think it was reasonable to expect that they would have encountered a homeowner with a gun and that homeowner would have killed one of their colleagues. You break into a home, you home invade a home, is it forseeable that someone's going to get hurt? The answer to that would be, yes. Is it forseeable the homeowner is going to shoot you? The answer is, yes. In this case, the homeowner, Rodney Scott, was never charged with wrongdoing. But he was so haunted by what happened there, he never lived in that home again. One of the four, Jose, who was just 16 at the time, was afraid of a stiffer sentence. He takes a plea bargain. For the other three teenagers, their fate is now in the hands of a jury. The decision was real hard for me. I'm still torn over it. Have a hard time -- talking about it, really. Coming up, their future is

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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