Tammy Sue Birdsell

 Tammy Birdsell

Arrest made in case that's 4 years old

October 10, 2011

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - There's been an arrest made in connection with a shooting death committed 4 1/2 years ago. Victim's family said they feel as if they are one step closer to justice.

Dan Fassnacht, whom police said the victim was in a relationship, was arrested Friday on preliminary charges of voluntary manslaughter. He was bonded out on $50,000 bond.

43-year-old Tammy Birdsell from Flora was found dead outside of Dan Fassnacht's home at County Road 200 East around 3:00 on the morning of April 4, 2007.  The Carroll County Sheriff's Department said Birdsell died from a single gunshot wound.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley said Fassnacht and Birdsell had a relationship, but he's not sure why Birdsell was at his house at that hour.  Police said Fassnacht claimed to have heard something going on outside in his shed when he called police and asked them to come check it out.

Police found a rifle lying next to Birdsell that was from Fassnacht's property.  Carroll County Sheriff Tony Burns said detectives questioned Fassnacht about the death of Birdsell, but then released him.

Birdsell had three children, ages 13, 15, and 20.


Nov. 30, 1963 - April 4, 2007

Tammy Sue Birdsell, 43, Flora, passed away early Wednesday morning, April 4, 2007, in Bringhurst. She was born Nov. 30, 1963, to Jim Jenkins and Carolyn Tyra. She was previously married to Jim Prater.

She had been employed as a day care worker. Her hobbies included fishing, camping and sewing. Tammy was a 1982 graduate of Delphi High School.

Surviving are her mother, Carolyn Tyra, Flora; father, Jim Jenkins, Yeoman; two sons, Dustin Prater, Flora, and Joseph Prater, at home; one daughter, Tabatha “Tabby” Prater, also at home; three brothers, James Jenkins, Jeff Jenkins, and T.J. Brower, all of Lafayette; two sisters, Lynn Simms, Burlington, and Teresa Sisson, Bringhurst; and two grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Reinke Funeral Home, Flora, following two hours of visitation. Creta Hollis will officiate the service.

Suzanne Saunders

Woman, Estranged Husband Identified In Carmel Shootings

Police: Handgun Found Near Man

October 11, 2011

CARMEL, Ind. -- Police are investigating the fatal shootings of a woman and her estranged husband in a Carmel condominium as a murder-suicide.

Carmel police said the bodies of Aaron Saunders, 46, and Suzanne Saunders, 50, were found Tuesday morning in a home at the Traditions on the Monon in the 900 block of 3rd Avenue, near 136th Street and Rangeline Road, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

"Both bodies appeared to have gunshot wounds. A handgun was found in close proximity to the deceased male," Carmel police Lt. Jeff Horner said.

Police rushed to the home about 6:45 a.m., when the oldest of Suzanne Saunders' three children, boys ages 16 and 11, along with a 12-year-old girl, heard gunshots and called 911.

"(The children) were at home getting ready for school when their stepfather stopped by the house," Horner said. "They heard an argument break out between their mother and stepfather."

Soon after the argument began, the children heard the gunshots and heard their mother scream, police said.

Neighbor Debbie Edstrom described the horror of what she witnessed.

"I heard a woman scream, and I called 911, and I heard a young boy, a voice say, 'Mom,'" Edstrom said. "(The boy) had walked to the end of our building, and he met the police as they were coming into the complex and he was directing them to his house, and I heard him say it was his stepfather had come into the house and shot his mother."

Investigators said the boys ran out of the home after the shooting and that the girl hid in an upstairs room. They were not injured.

Autopsies are planned.

Latrice Long-Payton

 Latrice Long-Payton

Man accused of dumping woman's body in trash pleads guilty

Police said Coleman killed Long-Payton by strangling her and then put her body in the garbage.

September 29, 2011

A man accused of murdering a woman and then putting her body in the trash entered a guilty plea Wednesday.

Joseph Coleman, 29, pleaded guilty to the murder of Latrice Long-Payton, 29, in September 2010.

Police said Coleman killed Long-Payton by strangling her and then put her body in the garbage.

In October 2010, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department received an anonymous tip there might be a dead body inside a home in the 5900 block of East Rawles Avenue. The caller told police the female was chocked and beat to death and then wrapped in plastic. The caller also stated there was a strong smell of rotting flesh inside the home.

According to a probable cause, Long-Payton was paying Coleman rent to stay in his house. He told police he last saw her three weeks before her body was found. He also told police the foul smell in his home was from dead possums he killed.

When police searched the trash can in the back of the home, they found the body of missing Long-Payton.

Police said Coleman told them he and Long-Payton got into a verbal argument, because he wanted her to move out of the home. He said she hit him in the face so he began beating and choking her until she died. Coleman also stated Samuel Taylor, 33, helped him wrap the victim’s body in plastic and place the body in the crawlspace of the home.

Taylor was charged with assisting a criminal.

Coleman will be sentenced October 28.

Tina Williams Daniels

Indy man held in shooting death of his wife

October 9. 2011

An Indianapolis man was arrested early this morning in connection with the shooting death of his wife on the city's Eastside, according to Indianapolis metropolitan police.

The suspect, identified as Kenneth Daniels, 62, was taken into custody after police arrived at a house in the 4700 block of East 30th Street. That’s where they found 50-year-old Tina Williams suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to her chest and arms.

She was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency services personnel arrived.

The suspect was holding a gun at the time officers arrived, according a news release from Ptl. Kendale Adams, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Daniels told homicide investigators that he shot his wife during an argument, the release said, and he subsequently was arrested and preliminarily charged with murder.

Officers also discovered an unharmed four-year-old child in an upstairs bedroom. The child’s relationship to the victim or the suspect was not immediately known.  Daniels was transported to the Marion County Arresting Processing Center, where he awaits the filling of formal charges.

Child Protective Services arrived and took the child into custody. Tina Williams’ next-of-kin has been notified, police said.

9/11 and Domestic Violence

by Ben Atherton-Zeman
September 11, 2011

Both 9/11 and domestic murders have claimed thousands of lives. Over 3000 victims were killed in the September 11 attacks - about 2000 victims/year are killed in the United States by their intimate partners.

Both were results of terrorist attacks - 9/11 from Al Quaeda, domestic murder from "domestic terrorists." Both kinds of terrorists use fear, violence and intimidation to get what they want. But Al Quaeda terrorists are vilified, while domestic terrorists are often called "pillars of the community."

Our country's response to each has been completely different. We responded to 9/11 with the war in Iraq - hundreds of billions of dollars. We responded to domestic murder with funding the Violence Against Women Act and other federal legislation - hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why the disparity?

What's the difference between the victims of 9/11 and the victims of domestic murder?

One is gender - many more men kill their wives and girlfriends than vice versa.

But I think the main reason for the disparity is victim-blaming.

Nobody blames folks for going to work in the Twin Towers that day. But every day, people blame the victims of domestic abuse for the violence perpetrated against them. People say, "I wouldn't let anybody do that to me," not realizing the implication of blame for those who stay with abusive spouses and partners. People ask "Why doesn't she leave?" instead of "Why is he abusing her?" and "What can we do to help?"

I've had the honor of knowing people who responded to each. Ground Zero workers, people in the United States military who fought on behalf of our country. Advocates for domestic violence survivors, volunteers and staff at shelters for battered women. All heroes - all underpaid and overworked.

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 arrives, our country will honor those who lost their lives on that day. We will honor those who worked at Ground Zero afterward. We will honor those who are serving in uniform.

But let us also take this opportunity to realize that we've spend 1/1000th of our country's resources on stopping domestic violence, than we have on the war in Iraq. Let us question why these victims of intimate terrorism get less sympathy than the victims of Al Quaeda terrorism. Let us honor advocates for victims of domestic violence, just as we honor our women and men in uniform.

(with thanks to Patty Branco of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Feel free to reprint and repost.)

Darrick Shelton

Darrick Shelton

Far-Eastside infant had been beaten to death

August 25, 2011

The Marion County coroner ruled that a 10-week-old boy found dead last week at a Far-Eastside apartment had been the victim of a fatal beating, police said today.

Police found the boy naked and on the floor of an apartment in the 9800 block of Gatewood Court at about 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report.

The boy, whom police did not identify by name, was not breathing when officers arrived. Medics took him to Community Hospital East, according to the report, but life-saving efforts were not successful.

The coroner found that the boy died of "multiple blunt force traumatic injuries" that cut off oxygen to his brain, Sgt. Linda Jackson said today. The death was ruled a homicide.

The boy's mother, Brianna Shelton, 22, was at the apartment when police arrived.


Mother Arrested In 2-Month-Old Son's Death
Briana Shelton Faces Murder, Neglect Charges

August 27, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis woman was arrested in connection to the death of her 2-month-old son, police said.

Homicide detectives were called to an apartment complex near 21st Street and Mitthoeffer Road just after noon Friday on a report of a child not breathing.

When detectives arrived, they found the naked infant lying on his back on the living room floor.  The baby's mother, Briana Shelton, 22, was at home at the time.

The Marion County coroner ruled that the infant died of multiple blunt-force traumatic injuries.  Shelton was arrested Saturday on murder and neglect charges, police said.

Stacey Jo Lawson

Stacey Jo Lawson

Woman's body identified following autopsy

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEWARK -- A woman's body found in a wooded area near the Newark Baptist Church on Saturday had identified.  The victim has been positively identified as Stacey J. Lawson, 28, of rural Greene County.

"Family members have been notified. Foul play is still suspected and witnesses and persons of interest are still being interviewed or re-interviewed," Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Dunril, public information officer for the Bloomington Post, said Monday evening.

No arrests have been made.

"At the request and on the authority of the Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw, no other information will be released at this time. The victim's cause of death and rumors surrounding her death will not be addressed until such time as the investigation allows it," Durnil added.

An autopsy was conducted Monday afternoon at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, however the cause of death is not being released.

Detectives and crime scene technicians from the Indiana State Police and the Greene County Sheriff' Department are continuing their investigation.

The body of the woman was found about 3 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area near Newark Baptist Church, located south of County Road 760 East and County Road 740 North in northeastern Greene County.

"A cause of death is not known at this time. It had been rumored the victim's death resulted from a domestic dispute with her spouse. That cannot be confirmed, as the victim was not married," Durnil said on Sunday.

Anyone with information about the body found in the Newark is asked to contact the ISP Bloomington Post at 332-4411 or toll-free at (800) 423-1286.


Victim will be honored with "Last Ride Home" after funeral
Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Nick Schneider

Family and friends of rural Solsberry resident Stacey Jo Lawson will gather at a Bloomfield funeral home Saturday morning to pay their final respects and then many will mount motorcycles for her "Last Ride Home" -- escorting the hearse to the Newark Cemetery after the service.

Stacey loved motorcycles and her grief-stricken family thinks it's a fitting tribute for this free-spirited woman.

The body of the 28-year-old mother of two was found last Saturday afternoon near the Newark Baptist Church -- just a few hundred yards from the cemetery where she'll be buried.

"I know her daughters are going to be crushed," Shaina Vincent, Stacey's younger sister told the Greene County Daily World. "Everyone is devastated about this. She was just a beautiful person. She was just so nice. She was the kind of person who would seriously give you the clothes off of her back if you needed them."

Foul play is suspected in the case that is being investigated by the Indiana State Police and the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

But no one has officially mentioned the word homicide, but family members say justice needs to be done in the case.

Authorities have been mum on the status of the investigation, but ISP Public Information officer Curt Durnil says that witnesses and persons of interest have been interviewed.

Shaina, who lives in Bloomington, called Stacey her best friend.

"She was a very outgoing person. She loved the outdoors. She loved her daughters more than anything. She was very caring and had a very big heart of gold. She was very popular and had a lot of friends. Everyone loved her and she loved everyone," Shaina told the Greene County Daily World on Wednesday afternoon. "She loved going to church. She attended the House of Prayer (in Ellettsville)."

Shaina was three years younger than Stacey, but the two were very close.

Shaina continued, "We did everything together. We were best friends growing up. I always wanted to be just like my sister. We were on the basketball team and worked hard at school and was always on the honor roll and made great grades."

Stacey and her sister were raised in their younger years near Solsberry and Stacey moved back to the eastern Greene County area about two years ago.

"We always played Barbie's together and catch crawdads in the creek. We used to go swimming together at the pool. We did everything together," Shaina recalled. "She was so loved by everyone. We are just devastated that this could happen to her."

The victim attended elementary school at Highland Park and later attended Bloomington North High School in Bloomington.

Stacey was divorced for a little over two years and the mother of two children, 8-year-old Lilly and 1-year-old Emily.

News of her death was a shock to everyone in her family and among her extended group of friends.

"It was all very surprising and unexpected. We never saw this coming at all," Shaina said. "I talked to her about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. I was at work and wasn't able to talk on the phone. I told her I would call her back. I talked to her boyfriend (Pat Lewis) and was told that she just ran up the road and would be back in a little while. He said he would have her call me. That was the last time anyone talked to her."

Bloomington resident Thomas Meadows, the fiance to Stacey's mother, Lori Lawson, also knew the victim well.

"She was a country Greene County girl. She was a sweetheart," Meadows said. "She definitely didn't deserve what happened to her ... it took us all by surprise.

"She was a free-spirit. Everybody loved her."

He added that he didn't know anyone who would want to hurt her.

Meadows said police and Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw have been working closely with the family.

"The people who did this are very sick, demented people and definitely need to be off the street. The police have been very kind to us, the detectives have been very kind to us and the prosecutor has been very kind. He's going out of his way to make sure that nothing goes wrong and he gets the right people. The family, so far, has been very happy with what they are doing," Meadows said.

Shaina said she didn't want to speculate on what might have happened, because she indicated police are close to solving the case.

"Yes, there will be an arrest made," Shaina stated. "They are very close and they have a lot of information. A lot of her (Stacey's) friends have been calling and leaving tips and stuff. A lot of them are true and some of them aren't true and they (the police) have to weed through them all."

Funeral service for Stacey Jo Lawson, 28, rural Solsberry, will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield with House of Prayer Pastor Larry Mitchell officiating.

Interment will follow in Newark Cemetery in rural Solsberry.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. today (Friday) and from 9 a.m. until the hour of service on Saturday at the funeral home.


Stacey Jo Lawson, 28, of Solsberry, passed away August 20, 2011.

Stacey was a free spirit and a member of the House of Prayer.

Surviving relatives include: her mother and her fiance', Lori Lawson and Thomas Meadows of Bloomington; Stacey's fiance' Pat Lewis of Solsberry; two daughters, Lilly Lawson of Bloomington and Emily Lawson of Solsberry; her sister and her husband, Shaina and Joe Vincent and their children Jude and Calvin of Bloomington; maternal grandmother, Joyce Pate of Solsberry; uncles, Buddy Pate of Bloomington and Jerry and Steve Pate both of Solsberry; aunts, Kathy Mitchell of Solsberry, Jo Godwin of Texas and Becky Andis of Bloomington; and many, many cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, David Lawson, one brother, Brandyn Beck, maternal grandfather, Leon Pate and cousins, Jessica and John Pate.

Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 27 at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield with Pastor Larry Mitchell officiating.

Interment will follow in Newark Cemetery in rural Solsberry.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until the hour of service on Saturday at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield.

The family asks that all memorial contributions be made to the Stacey Jo Lawson burial fund through any Old National Bank.

Online condolences to the family are available at

Tonya Scott

Tonya Scott

16-Year-Old Fatally Stabbed Brother's Fiancee

Woman Found Stabbed To Death On Bed

August 22, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A 16-year-old boy has been arrested, accused of fatally stabbing his brother's fiancee, police said.

Officers were called to a home in the 800 block of South Auburn Street just before 10 p.m. Sunday after family members found Tonya Scott, 25, stabbed to death on a bed in the home, police said.

According to a police report, a neighbor told investigators that he had seen a 16-year-old who also lived in the home leaving the scene just before police arrived.

The 16-year-old was found a short time later behind a nearby Kroger store, police said. The teen was later arrested on a preliminary charge of murder.

Police said the 16-year-old's older brother and Scott were engaged.

The teen is expected to be waived to adult court. His name and mug shot will be released at that time.

Arthur L. Anderson

Arthur L. Anderson

Suspect arrested in scout leader murder

Man stabbed leader while group stopped on trail

22 Aug 2011, 3:15 AM EDT

BUNKER HILL, Ind. (WANE) - The Indiana State Police have released information on a murder in Bunker Hill, Indiana, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

According to ISP, officers received a call before 3:00 p.m. Sunday of a reported stabbing on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill. Upon arrival, officers found Arthur L. Anderson, 76, Kokomo, bleeding extensively from his neck. Despite medical efforts, Anderson died from his injury.

The initial investigation by an ISP detective revealed that a witness observed a male walk up behind Anderson and unprovoked, allegedly stabbed Anderson in the neck. The suspect then fled the scene in a black Jeep Cherokee.

Away from the scene, an Indiana State trooper located the Jeep and tried to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle, Shane C. Golitko, 22, Bunker Hill, led police on an approximate eight minute pursuit. Officers were finally able to stop Golitko when they blocked the road near St. Rd. 218 and County Road 300. Golitko was taken in to custody.

Further investigation revealed prior to the 911 call of the stabbing, Golitko's mother, Valerie Henson, 48, Bunker Hill, also called police to report her son had battered her during an altercation at their home. She fled the home to a neighbors house and reported Golitko retrieved a knife from his residence and walked from his home towards Nickel Plate Trail, where he then allegedly stabbed Anderson.

The report further stated that Golitko returned to his home, destroying items inside. He also stabbed two dogs, killing one. He then fled the residence in his mother's Jeep. His mother suffered a broken arm in the reported battery. She was treated and released from a local hospital.

Anderson, another man, and two boys were on the Nickel Plate Trail as part of a boy scout outing. They had planned to hike about five miles from Bunker Hill to Bennetts Switch. The group had stopped along the trail to discuss and identify a tree, when the alleged stabbing occurred.

Anderson was the only one attacked, he had been involved in scouting for over 50 years.

Golitko is being held without bond in the Miami County Jail on a murder charge. He faces two additional felony counts for battery causing serious bodily injury and battery by bodily waste. He allegedly spat at officers while being processed into the jail.

Anne J. Stolarz

Murder-suicide suspected in deaths elderly Lowell couple

August 8, 2011

LOWELL — A murder-suicide this weekend of two senior citizens in this quiet rural community left neighbors filled with shock and disbelief.

Police Chief John Shelhart said an 84-year-old man and his 84-year-old wife were found shot dead in their home in the 300 block of Eastland Circle Sunday afternoon after their adult children came to check on the couple’s well-being.

Shelhart said it appeared the man first shot his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, in the head then proceeded to shoot himself. Shelhart said the couple was last seen alive Friday at a family gathering.

“It happened either sometime Saturday or early Sunday before the newspaper came,” Shelhart said.

Shelhart said family members were shocked by the discovery. They said the couple did not appear depressed during the Friday gathering, though they had experienced some recent financial setbacks.

The couple’s 401K ran out in July and they were heavily invested in the stock market and suffered serious losses during the economic downturn.

Robert Potter, who lives across the street from the couple, said he would often see the husband working outside in the flower bed.

“They seemed like nice people. We always talked,” Potter said. He said he was shocked when he heard the news.

“It just don’t happen here, something like that,” he said.

Neighbors Paul Mayer, Carl Skinner and Edna Miller were gathered at the mailbox in the subdivision of nicely manicured single family homes and townhomes talking about the events of the weekend.

They said Sunday police vehicles lined the street and blocked both entrances to the neighborhood largely populated by senior citizens, leaving them a bit frightened and wondering what might have occurred.

“I always found him to be a very polite guy,” Mayer said.

“He was a good neighbor,” Miller said.

“A very good neighbor,” Skinner added.

They said they were shocked and saddened to find out what had occurred in their quiet neighborhood.

“It’s an experience you don’t want to see or hear about again,” Miller said.


JOHN AND ANNE STOLARZ LOWELL, IN John and Anne Stolarz of Lowell, passed away Sunday, August 7, 2011. They are survived by their children: Janice (Jerry) Keilman of Lowell and Mark Stolarz of Fair Oaks; grandchildren: Sarah Ammons, Karalyn (Clint) Skinner, Mike (Danielle) Keilman, Marc (Julie) Keilman, Joshua Stolarz, Amy Dixon, and Sabrina and Dustin Stolarz; 10 great-granchildren; John's siblings: Anne Matusik and Walter Stolarz; and Anne's sister, Mary Hubbard. They were preceded in death by their son, Wayne; John's siblings: Stanley, Frank, Joe and Victoria Wojtan; Anne's siblings: Alex, Edward, Eugene and John Lukas. John and Anne were members of St. Edward Catholic Church in Lowell. He was a member of VFW Post 802 in Hammond and she was a member of their auxiliary. John owned John's Electric and Anne enjoyed cooking and being a loving mother and grandmother. They both enjoyed traveling and their cottage on Koontz Lake. A memorial visitation will be held Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 604 E. Commercial Ave. in Lowell with a Memorial Mass at 12:00 p.m. at St. Edward Catholic Church. Father Ted Norquist officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Alzheimer's Research.

Joseph Snow

Man suspected in Parke Co. murder arrested

Aug 14, 2011 8:43 PM EDT

PARKE COUNTY - Police in western Indiana are investigating a homicide early Saturday morning.  Jeremy Musall was arrested on preliminary charges of Murder, Rape, Criminal Confinement, and Intimidation.

Police say Musall broke into the home of Joseph Snow and a woman in her mid-20's around 1:30 a.m. near Rocky Fork Lake in southeastern Parke County. Musall reportedly killed Snow, then took the body and the female resident's 20-month-old child into his vehicle, making the woman follow him into Putnam County.

Parke County Sheriff Mike Eslinger told television station WTWO in Terre Haute that police believe the woman found a cell phone and called police. Deputies pursued Musall, but he eluded arrest.

Working on a tip from the woman that Musall had family in the Cloverdale area, police located the suspect at his mother's home and arrested him. Snow's body was recovered in another part of Putnam County.

WTWO says the child was not harmed and that police believe Musall was a jealous former boyfriend of the woman.


PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Saturday's murder case in Parke County has been resolved and the suspect is behind bars.

Saturday night the details were just beginning to come out from the murder. Saturday News 10 went to the crime scene and spoke with officials in Parke County.  The violent scene began at 5639 South one-thousand County Road East. Police say at that home, Jeremy Musall murdered Joseph Snow.

They also say during the altercation Musall also raped a woman inside the home. He then took Snow's body and the woman's twenty month old little girl and drove towards Putnam County.  Police said the woman called police while following Musall and gave them directions to his destination.

Police from Parke and Putnam counties caught up to Musall and arrested him.  The twenty month old child was not harmed and was returned to her mother.  The Parke county sheriff's office says the cooperation with the other law enforcement teams was crucial in catching Musall.

"I think everybody worked well together and obviously right at two hours we had him in custody. We’re very pleased that the twenty-month old was unharmed It could have gotten even worse. We're very grateful it ended the way it did,” Parke County Chief Deputy Bill Todd said.

The sheriff's office said they're charging Musall with Murder, Rape, Criminal confinement, and intimidation.  We're told those charges could change as the investigation continues.

Mary Swift

Mary Swift

Stereo Volume Led To Killing Of Women

Man Arrested On 2 Counts Of Murder After Indianapolis Shooting

August 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested Friday morning after a shooting rampage over a loud stereo that resulted in the deaths of two women and critical injuries to another man, Indianapolis police said.

The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of South State Avenue, and officers who were patrolling the area at the time reported hearing shots fired.

Edward Lay, 37, of Indianapolis, was arrested on two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.

The victims were identified as Mary Swift, 37, of Indianapolis, and Kelly Jinks, 33. The man who was shot was identified as Ronald Kortz II, 40, of Indianapolis.  Kortz underwent surgery Friday and was listed in critical but stable condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital.

Witnesses told police that Swift and Lay argued over the volume of a stereo and that Lay pulled out a handgun and shot Swift multiple times. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Jinks and Kortz were shot as they tried to intervene in the argument, police said.

"Edward Lay attempted to flee but was apprehended … a short distance from the scene," said Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer.

Neighbors told 6News' Stacia Matthews that Swift has four children and had been dating Lay for a short time.  "Mary was an awesome woman. She didn't deserve this at all," said neighbor Edna Reeves. "She was such an awesome woman and her kids are going to suffer the most."

Arguments were common, neighbors said.  "They was constantly arguing over there. It get pretty high pitched, but I didn't expect anything like this," said Richard Reeves.

Lay has a criminal background, Indianapolis police said.


Mary Ann Swift, 37, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Indianapolis. She was a resident of Indianapolis.

Survivors include her mother, Patricia E. (Ralph) Tuttle of Texas; her father, Melvin L. Mann of Ohio; four children, Brittany N. Swift of Indianapolis and Dustin E., Dylan P. and Alexandria L. Swift, all of Franklin; a sister, Amanda N. Patrick of Plainfield; four brothers, Melvin Mann Jr. of Texas, Richard and Christian Mann, both of Ohio, and Brandon Seibers of Indianapolis; and a grandson.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph E. Mann.

Private family services will be conducted.

Jessen Funeral Home, Franklin Chapel, is handling arrangements.

See post for dear friend Kelly Jinks here.

Kelly Jinks

Two Dead, One Injured in Early Morning Shooting

August 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - Two women are dead and a man is in critical condition following an early morning shooting on the southeast side.

Metro Police arrested Edward Lay, a 37-year-old Indianapolis man, in connection with the shootings. He faces two preliminary counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and a serious violent felony in possession of a firearm. He is being held at the Marion County Jail without bond.

Metro Police were called to the 1700 block of South State Ave. around 1:30 am to investigate a report of a shooting. They found three people suffering from gunshot wounds in an alley.

Police say Mary Swift, 37, of Indianapolis, died at the scene. Kelly Jinks, 33, was taken to Wishard Hospital where she later died from injuries sustained in the shooting. A third victim was identified as Ronald Kortz II, 40. He is in critical but stable condition at Wishard Hospital.

According to witnesses, Mary Swift and Edward Lay were arguing over the volume of a stereo. Edward Lay produced a handgun and shot Swift multiple times, according to police.

A second couple, Kelly Jinks and Ronald Kortz II, attempted to intervene and they were shot. The suspect, Edward Lay, attempted to flee but was apprehended by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Southeast District officers a short distance from the scene.

See post for dear friend Mary Swift here.

Jasper Simpson

Jasper Simpson

Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide

Police: Officers Found Child Not Breathing At Apartment

INDIANAPOLIS -- The death of a 22-month-old boy in Shelbyville has been ruled a homicide.

Officers were called to the Martin Estates Apartments, on the city's north side, late Monday evening, Shelbyville Police Chief Bill Elliott said.

Medics found Jasper Simpson was not breathing and began CPR on the child. The boy later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

The Marion County coroner ruled Wednesday that Simpson died of blunt-force injuries to his head.

No arrests had been made Thursday evening.


SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 5, 2011) -- Shelbyville police have a person of interest in the death of a 22-month-old boy.

Officers were called to the Martin Estates Apartments, on the city's north side, late Monday evening, where Jasper Simpson was found not breathing. He later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

According to a police report, the boy's mother told officers her son struck his head on a trunk and got sick. She said she put him on the couch only to find him later not breathing.

The Marion County coroner ruled that Simpson died of blunt-force injuries to his head.

Shelbyville police contacted 6News on Friday after neighbor Elaine Stickle said she witnessed abuse at the home, 6News' Stacia Matthews reported.

"All of a sudden, he (a man at the home) reached over and he slapped that baby with a thud, and that baby went flying into the patio door," Stickle said. "I said, 'Was that necessary?'"

Stickle told 6News she wishes she had called police.

"That was the only time I ever saw that child being hurt up there. It just didn't register," she said.

Police said they have a person of interest but are not releasing that person's name.

They are waiting for results of a pathology report, which could take weeks, before turning the case over to the prosecutor.

Harry K. Harris

Man, 80, Kills Daughter's Boyfriend, Stabs Self

Boyd Wright Expected To Be Charged With Murder In Slaying

POSTED: 10:58 am EDT July 13, 2011

MADISON, Ind. -- Police said a man killed his daughter's boyfriend, then stabbed himself -- possibly to establish a self-defense alibi.

Police in Madison said 80-year-old Boyd D. Wright Jr. did not approve of his daughter's relationship with 57-year-old Harry K. Harris.

Wright is expected to be charged with murder by the end of the week.

Police said that shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wright shot his daughter's 57-year-old boyfriend, Harry Harris, in the back -- then confessed to it.

"He made some statements that he retrieved a .20 gauge shotgun, loaded it, and shot Mr. Harris in the back," said prosecutor Chad Lewis."He made some statements that he was upset at the relationship Mr. Harris had with his daughter, and that he was at one point angry because at one point, Mr. Harris had sat in his seat at the dining room table."

Madison Police Chief Yancy Denning said when his officers arrived, Wright was bloody and holding a knife.

"We're under the impression that he was cutting himself," Denning said. "There's no indication that anyone else had cut him. When our officers got there, he still had the gun in his hand, attempting to harm himself."

Wright was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, and then booked into the Jefferson County, Ind., Jail.

Family members refused to comment on the case.  Wright remains in jail, with no bond.

Harris is from Aurora, Ind. Efforts to speak to his family were not successful.