A homeless man accused of killing four other homeless men and placing their bodies in manholes in a dispute over scrap metal pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of murder.
Daniel J. Sharp made an agreement with prosecutors that will have him serve his prison sentences concurrently instead of consecutively. Sharp, 55, faces 45 to 65 years at sentencing, scheduled for Sept. 4.
Sharp pleaded guilty to killing Michael S. Nolen Jr., Michael W. Lawson, Brian Talboom and Jason Coates between Dec. 18 and 21 and dumping their bodies in manholes 75 yards apart just south of downtown South Bend.
Autopsies showed that the four men died of blunt force trauma to the head. Sharp said he hit two of the men with "blunt objects" and helped another man kill the others.
Probable cause affidavits said Sharp and another man were upset that the four victims, who shared a vacant building they lived in, had stolen scrap metal they had planned to sell. The pair also allegedly were upset the four had "messed up" the area where they slept.
Randy Lee Reeder, 51, of South Bend, also is charged with four counts of murder in the deaths. According to the plea agreement, Sharp has agreed to testify against Reeder.
Reeder's trial is scheduled to begin July 12.