Latest News Archives for 2019-09

Autopsy scheduled in Shelbyville death investigation

On September 30, the Shelbyville Police Department responded to an apartment building located at 14 E. Broadway.


Officers arrived and were taken to a body located in the building. This is an active death investigation.


Due to the state of decomposition, we will have to wait on the findings of an autopsy to find out the cause of death. At this time, we have not identified the deceased as well.


Anyone with any information on who the deceased may be is asked to contact the Shelbyville Police Department Investigation Division.

Injury in Wednesday night Shelby County car crash

A woman was transported to an Indianapolis hospital from a Shelby County car accident Wednesday.


Courtney Byrd, 22, of Osgood, was traveling southbound on County Road 250 East just south of Michigan Road in the 8:00 pm hour.  Byrd's passenger side tires went off the road.  She tried to bring the car back onto the roadway and overcorrected.  The car began to spin until the tires caught traction and the 2006 Buick Lucernce rolled several times.  It came to rest, inverted, after striking a utility pole.


Byrd was trapped inside and was extricated by the Shelbyville Fire Department.



Apparent two-car crash turns into murder arrest for ISP

On Saturday evening, September 21, at 7:23, emergency crews responded to I-70 westbound at the 92.6 mile marker for reports of a serious two-vehicle crash. Upon arrival a male victim was found unresponsive and was later pronounced deceased at the scene. Due to the circumstances known at the time, and the severity of damage to both vehicles, the fatal injuries were believed to be caused by the collision. The victim was identified as Devon Anderson, 27, of Indianapolis.


The driver of the other vehicle was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  He was identified as Juan Garrado Vivas, 24, of Indianapolis. 


Indiana State Police Detectives were notified by the Marion County Coroner's Office about the cause of death. Further examination by the coroner's office revealed a possible projectile inside Anderson's head consistent with a bullet. An autopsy was performed and a bullet was found inside the head of the victim. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot to the head. 


Indiana State Police Detectives immediately began a criminal investigation and were led to Juan Garrado Vivas as a person of interest. In the early morning hours of September 25, Juan Garrado Vivas was arrested by detectives on the preliminary charge of murder. 


While driving on the interstate Vivas allegedly fired a shot from a handgun into the vehicle driven by Anderson, striking Anderson in the head. The silver Dodge Caravan driven by Anderson then crossed into the path of the black Ford Ranger driven by Vivas. The two vehicles collided and both became disabled to due damage. 

Franklin man dies in Monday morning accident in Shelby County

Monday morning around 5:30 am, The Shelby County Sherriff’s Department with Morristown and Fountaintown Fire Departments along with Shelbyville Medics responded to the 8500 block of  North State Road 9 for a head on collision.


Major Chris Holder of the Shelby County Sheriff Department says a 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer, driven by Brandon Vollett, 39, of Greenfield, was traveling southbound and lost control, went into the path of a northbound vehicle, a 2014 Ford F150 driven by Jeremiah Peters, 28, of Franklin.             


Peters was pronounced dead at the scene.


Vollett was transported to Methodist Hospital.  


 The crash is still under investigation.


Assisting agencies where the Shelbyville Police Department, Shelby County F.A.C.T team, the Indiana State Police and Ross Wreaker

One dead, one injured in head-on collision Monday morning

A two-car crash on State Road 9 near Shelby County's 850 North has resulted in one reported fatality and one person taken from the scene by ambulance.


No names have been released as of this report.  Traffic on SR 9 was closed Monday morning as the accident was investigated.


The head-on accident involved a truck and SUV.  One male is deceased.  Another person was transported to Methodist via ambulance.  Lifeline couldn't respond due to early morning weather.


Rushville special sheriff's deputy, firefighter charged with child exploitation and child molest

Federal child exploitation and child porn charges against a Rush County Special Sheriff's Deputy.


Philip Harr, 29, of Rushville is charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography.


Federal prosecutors say Harr posed as a teenage girl on social media to solicit photos and videos of at least two kids having sex. The victims were from Indiana and Mississippi. Harr is also accused of using social media to share and receive child pornography.


Court papers say Harr was engaging in these activities while on duty as a Rush Co. government employee, Rush Co. Special Sheriff's Deputy, and Rushville fireman. He even used a police database to do searches for one of his victims, according to U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler.


The Rush County Sheriff's Department and the FBI conducted the joint investigation.


A spokesperson for the Rush County Sheriff’s Department said, "Our department would like to thank everyone involved in this investigation. Officers worked tirelessly to bring charges against Mr. Harr and seek justice for his victims."


Harr faces 15 to 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Hope man among four arrested after man tried to falsify gun purchase application

A recent investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives into the falsifying of a handgun purchase application led to four Bartholomew County residents being arrested on numerous drug related charges.


The investigation by Detective Andrew Mitchell began in July or this year when the Indiana State Police was notified that Frank L. Hiatt, 59, Columbus, had allegedly falsified a handgun purchase application while attempting to buy a handgun from Rural King in Greensburg.


The investigation determined that Hiatt attempted to buy a handgun from Rural King on June 28, 2019.  While completing the required paperwork to purchase the handgun, Hiatt indicated he was not currently under any indictment for felony charges and was not an unlawful user of marijuana or any other controlled substance.  Hiatt’s handgun purchase application was denied at the time and he was not able to purchase the firearm.


Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Hiatt had pending charges in Bartholomew County from March 11, 2019 after he was arrested by the Indiana State Police-All Crimes Policing Team on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and maintaining a common nuisance. 


As a result of the investigation, a warrant was issued for Frank Hiatt on a felony charge of Providing False Information on a Consent Form out of Decatur County, Indiana.


On September 10, troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post along with deputies from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department went to Frank Hiatt’s residence located at 16200 East County Road 265 North, Columbus, to serve the arrest warrant.  While at the residence, troopers located methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Hiatt, along with three other men at the residence, were arrested on numerous drug related charges.


Hiatt was arrested on the original warrant.  He was additionally arrested on charges of Obstruction of Justice, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, and Possession of Paraphernalia. 


Charles Hiatt, 62, Columbus, was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Visiting a Common Nuisance, and Possession of Paraphernalia. 


Rodney Hiatt, 52, Columbus, was arrested on a charge of Maintaining a Common Nuisance. 


Johnny Watson,53, Hope, was arrested on a charge of Visiting a Common Nuisance.


All four men were transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where they were incarcerated pending their initial court appearances.

Name released in infant death investigation in Franklin

Indiana State Police Detectives continue their investigation into the death of an eight week old infant in Franklin.


On Wednesday an autopsy was performed and there was no evidence of physical injuries or trauma to the infant. An official cause of death has not been ruled yet pending toxicology results. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed. 


The infant is identified as Kensli Deese of Franklin. The investigation is ongoing.



**The original release is below**

Franklin, IN - Detectives from the Indiana State Police are investigating the death of an eight week old infant this morning in Franklin. 


Preliminary Investigation has revealed the infant was dropped off at a babysitter early this morning in Pennington Trailer Park in Franklin. At 10:51 a.m. officers from the Franklin Police Department were dispatched to the residence for a medical emergency. Officers arrived at 10:52 a.m. and immediately attempted life saving measures. The infant was transported to Johnson Memorial Hospital where it was later pronounced deceased. The cause of death is unknown at this time and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow in Johnson County. 


At this point detectives are treating this as a death investigation.

Possible E-coli contamination prompts flour recall

General Mills has issued a voluntary recall for certain five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour because of possible E. coli contamination.


The flour has a best-by date of Sept. 6, 2020.


General Mills said the presence of E. Coli was detected during random sampling of the product.


If you own any of the recalled flour, you should throw it away or return it to the store for a refund.


This is the second recall of unbleached Gold Medal flour in the last eight months. In January, General Mills took the product off of store shelves due to possible salmonella contamination.


Visit for more information.

Shelbyville native to run for governor

Josh Owens is the first openly gay man to run for governor of Indiana.


Owens is the CEO of SupplyKick, a tech company based in Indianapolis. He is seeking the Democrat nomination to challenge Republican Eric Holcomb in the general election in 2020.

A native of Shelbyville, Owens says education will be his main platform with a specific focus on increasing teacher pay and expanding access and affordability of life-long learning for Hoosiers.


"I’m running for Governor now because I believe in an Indiana where teachers are paid what they deserve and where all are welcomed, respected and protected," Owens said. "We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success."


"Today, many Indiana teachers have to work second jobs and even then, they spend their own money on classroom supplies. As a businessman, I know every Hoosier in the workplace matters, and leadership is required to solve this problem and finally pay them fairly."


He also wants to end discrimination of Hoosiers in the workplace and housing, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Owens is married to his husband, Andy Owens. Josh Owens graduated from Wabash College and earned a master's degree at London School of Economics. He was raised in Shelbyville and previously worked at  Angie’s List and One Click Ventures. He's also taught economics and statistics at Butler. 


Owens joins Dr. Woody Myers on the Democrat ticket. State Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary is mulling a run for governor as well, having formed an exploratory committee to look into that possibility back in June.

Weekend Work: Construction around Marion County

The Indiana Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to plan ahead for a weekend full of construction. 


INDOT crews and contractors will be out in five different locations around Indianapolis interstates this weekend to repair winter damage, extend the life span of bridges and pavement and complete maintenance tasks.


Drivers are encouraged to plan their routes ahead of time and use local routes when they can. In construction zones, please slow down and don't drive distracted. Drivers are also reminded to add extra time to get to weekend destinations.


Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be patrolling work zones and ticketing drivers for speeding and reckless/distracted driving.  INDOT crews and Hoosier Helpers will be present on the interstates to make sure drivers are aware of slowing traffic and upcoming work zones. 


Construction work is weather dependent in some cases.


Full Closures

  • I-465 SB/WB from I-65 to I-70 on southeast side of Indianapolis
    • Detour: Follow I-65 and I-70 through downtown Indianapolis or follow the I-465 outer loop

Lane Restrictions

  • I-465 EB from Keystone Ave. to College Ave. 
    • 2 lanes open
    • 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday
  • I-465 SB from Pendleton Pike to I-70
    • 3 lanes open
    • Use the RIGHT TWO LANES to get to I-70 WB, and the LEFT LANE to get on I-70 EB
    • Now until the end of I-465 full closure 
  • I-465 WB/SB (Northwest side) from Meridian St./U.S. 31 to 56th St.
    • Left lane closed 
    • 8 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Sunday
  • I-865 EB & WB from I-465 to I-65
    • 1 lane open in each direction
    • Now through October 9
  • I-65 NB & SB from Little Eagle Creek to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. (Exit 117) (northwest side)
    • 2 lanes open in each direction
    • Now through October 3 



Ramp Closures

  • Pendleton Pike to I-465 SB
    • Now through the end of I-465 Full Closure 
  • I-70 WB to I-465 NB
    • Friday at 9 p.m. to Saturday at 6 p.m.
  • U.S. 31 SB to I-465 EB
    • Friday at 9 p.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m.
  • I-65 NB to Lafayette Rd 
    • Friday at 8 p.m. to Monday at 6 a.m.
  • Lafayette Road to I-65 NB
    • Friday at 8 p.m. to Monday at 6 a.m. 

Shelbyville Police asking for public's help to find missing 14-year-old; national agencies notified

The Shelbyville Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance to locate a missing juvenile.

Diego Ordonez Paiz, 14, is an Hispanic male reported missing by the National Office of Refugee Resettlement.  He was last seen by his sponsor on August 28.


Diego reportedly left to stay with a family member in Mississippi.  Officials in Mississippi have checked the address give by his sponsor.  He has not been located as of this report.


Diego is entered into the National Crime Center Information Center (NCIC) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as missing.


Anyone with any information is asked to call the Shelbyville Police Department Investigations Division at (317) 392-5118 or Detective Deborah Tilford at (317) 392-5118.

Kroger recalls yellowfin tuna steaks

If you recently bought yellowfin tuna steaks at a Kroger store in Indiana, you might need to throw them away.


Yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped styrofoam trays may cause scombroid poisoning, according to the FDA.


The tuna steaks have sell-by dates between Aug. 29 and Sept. 14.


Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved. Improper storage causes bacteria to grow and produce Scombroid toxin, which can cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.


Symptoms usually develop within an hour of eating contaminated fish and can include:


- Flushing of the face

- Headache

- Itching

- Blurred Vision

- Abdominal Cramps

- Nausea

- Diarrhea


If you develop symptoms of scombroid poisoning, call your doctor. Most people recover within several hours, but symptoms can linger for several days.


Kroger has agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in Indiana, according to the FDA. If you bought the tuna steaks in question, you should throw them away immediately.

Derick Nigh sentenced for voluntary manslaughter in death of Jennifer Farquer in August 2018

A Shelbyville man has been sentenced for his role in the death of Jennifer Farquer in August of last year.


Derick Nigh was sentenced Tuesday to 43 years after being convicted of charges of Voluntary Manslaughter (enhanced by use of a firearm) and Theft.


Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen says Nigh shot and killed Jennifer Farquer on August 31, 2018, at a family member’s residence on East Franklin Street.  The two had been dating for about a month.  Nigh continued drinking and did not call for help or awaken the homeowner.  When the homeowner woke up the next morning, he found Nigh still awake and drinking.  Nigh eventually told the homeowner that he had killed Farquer. 


The homeowner called 911, but was disconnected.  Police still responded, and located  Farquer’s body on a couch.  While police were working the scene, an officer noticed a bulge in the lower-leg area of Nigh’s pants, and found a gun with blood on it.  Nigh had stolen the gun some time prior to the shooting.


Nigh told police that he thought Farquer had overdosed, and that he and Farquer had been using meth and heroin the previous night (later lab reports would show that neither had either drug in their system). 


Nigh claimed that he would never hurt Farquer, other than backhanding her to the face.  Nigh was arrested and charged with Murder, Theft, and Possession of a Firearm with Previous Felony Conviction.  Prosecutor Landwerlen also filed an enhancement for use of a firearm in committing the crime, which carries a 5-20 year additional sentence.


As the parties prepared for trial, Nigh offered to plead guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter, with the enhancement for use of a firearm.  Landwerlen met with Farquer s family, and the family wanted to accept the offer.  Landwerlen, however, demanded that Nigh also plead guilty to the Theft of the firearm, and also a “floor” of 38 years on the executed sentence.


The prosecutor says voluntary manslaughter is basically murder committed “in the heat of the moment”.  As officers noted fresh scratches and injuries to Nigh’s face and arms, allegedly left by Farquer, Landwerlen explained that the charge seemed to fit the facts. 


Landwerlen asked for a sentence of 50 years all executed, pointing primarily to Nigh’s criminal record (22 criminal charges in the 9 years he’s been a adult), and to Nigh’s lack of remorse (Nigh continued partying for hours after shooting Farquer while she died and while her body remained on the couch, and later lied repeatedly to police). 


Nigh’s defense attorneys asked for a sentence of 43 years with 40 executed. 


Judge Kent Apsley sentenced Nigh to 43 years with 41 executed at the Indiana Department of Corrections and then two years served on house arrest.  Under the current law regarding good time credit, Nigh will have to serve at least 31.25 actual years before he will be eligible for release.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino opens state's first Sports Book

Indiana’s first sports wagering facility, Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub, is now open. Governor Eric Holcomb placed the first official wager just after 12 p.m. leading into a ribbon cutting ceremony with state and local dignitaries for the historic event Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Soon after, the facility was officially opened, and patrons were making their wagers shortly before 1 p.m.



Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand, led a short program leading up to the ribbon cutting ceremony. He noted the excitement from the entire team at the Caesars Entertainment owned Indiana Grand and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication in getting the new state of the art facility prepared to open.


“In early spring, legislation passed and now on September 1, we are opening the very first Sports Book for the state of Indiana,” said Baumann. “A special thanks to executive director Sara Tait and the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) for getting us here today.”


Local dignitaries were in attendance led by Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, who spoke of the impact Indiana Grand has had on local tourism and development.


“We have become an entertainment destination and this facility only broadens our entertainment opportunities for the county and the state of Indiana,” said DeBaun. “We are very thankful this facility is in our county.”


Several state and local officials were present for the event, including Senator Jean Leising, Senator Jon Ford and State Representative Sean Eberhart. Eberhart pointed out the development of sports wagering will assist in facing competition with neighboring states and will be a boost for the entire state of Indiana.


“Sports wagering coupled with live table games coming online New Year’s Day will really set this facility apart,” noted Eberhart, who is a native of Shelby County. “In discussions with Caesars Entertainment this facility will be the second largest property in their portfolio behind only Caesars Palace in Vegas, and that is pretty exciting. It’s very cool to have that right here in our backyard. A special thanks goes out to Senator Jon Ford who is here today. He was very instrumental in working on this bill to get sports wagering in the state of Indiana.”


Baumann was joined by IGC Executive Director Tait, Senator Leising, Mayor Tom DeBaun, State Representative Eberhart, Senator Ford, and ESPN Radio’s Dan Dakich in cutting the ribbon to signify the official opening of Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub.


A large crowd waited in line to be the first to enter Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub. The first 250 guests received a cap as they made their way to the teller lines to place their first sports wagers.