Aiding murder and murder are among the charges filed on Wednesday, November 25, against a second person in the November 7 shooting death of an Austin businessman.
Ginger Lee Cox, 23, now faces aiding murder, felony murder, aiding in robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, robbery with a deadly weapon and theft. She is the girlfriend of James Matthew “Matt” Caudill, 21, the man who allegedly shot and killed John Turner, proprietor of John's Coins and Jewelry on West Main Street in Austin.
Her statement given to Detective Brian Busick with the Indiana State Police, Sellersburg post, provides a grim picture of the couple's actions prior to the fatal shooting at the tiny shop.
The probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Busick in connection to Cox's new charges relates that she had been with Caudill on November 7. They had traveled to the Turner shop three times that day. The first time, the couple entered the shop and Caudill “haggled” with Turner over a ring that Caudill had apparently sold to Turner earlier and wanted to buy back.
On the second trip, Cox said she waited in the Dodge minivan Caudill had driven. He went inside the shop and was armed with a gun, she said. He left Turner's because “...there were other people including children in the store.”
She said they then drove down Main Street, stopping and positioning the minivan so that they could watch the shop and known when people had left the shop. Caudill reportedly moved the van one time, all the while keeping an eye on the shop.
Once they saw customers leave, Cox said her boyfriend drove back up to the front of the store. He got out but told Cox to stay in the van's front seat, positioning herself so that the view of the front of the shop was obstructed if anyone across the road in other shops might look out.
She said Caudill was wearing a dark hoodie and light-colored pants but nothing on his face as he went into the shop a third time. The gun he had was a .22 Ruger to which Caudill had attached a homemade silencer, the woman told police.
When he returned to the van, Caudill had an envelope with some jewelry inside and a plastic shopping bag filled with other items. She purportedly told officers that Caudill admitted to shooting Turner in the head and robbing the store.
Later that same evening, Caudill and his older brother Christopher were counting currency allegedly taken in the robbery. Cox was given $500, which she told officers she spent. Other money was sealed in plastic bags.
She said she and the younger Caudill purchased tires and rims with some of the money, all $100 bills. Security film footage of Caudill making the purchase was obtained from the store where the transaction took place.
Cox also allegedly told officers that the clothing Matt Caudill wore during the crime, bank bags and a security video system were burned by the two brothers in a refuse pile near their parents' trailer. Officers later recovered a DVR from that site when they arrived on November 9 to serve Matt Caudill and Ginger Cox with arrest warrants arising out of the theft of a pickup truck in October.
With evidence discovered, both of the Caudill brothers, Cox and the Caudills' mother, Patricia, were arrested and transported to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg.
The latest probable cause affidavit also related that Matt Caudill had asked his older brother to hide two containers with cash and jewelry in them and a gun. Those were buried in a woods south of the residence on Water Tower Road near Austin, Christopher Caudill allegedly told officers.
Christopher Caudill assisted with locating the buried handgun on November 10. He also stated that when he and Matt Caudill had run into the woods as officers arrived on November 9, Matt Caudill had uncovered the container of money. Over $8,000 in currency was located by officers searching the grounds that day. The older Caudill brother also viewed footage of a security tape obtained from a nearby store's camera and identified the minivan seen in the film as his mother's vehicle.
Cox went through an initial hearing in Scott Circuit Court on her new charges on November 25. She was appointed a public defender, and an initial jury trial date of April 26 was scheduled after entry of a not guilty plea. No bond was set in the case.
Prosecutor Jason Mount also filed a Notice of Additional Penalty for use of a firearm in the commission of the crime.