Woman arrested for alleged drug buy finds more trouble at Security Center PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:43



A woman taken into custody because of her alleged involvement in a January 23 drug buy is now facing more trouble because of her reported actions at the Scott County Security Center.

Amanda Spencer “Sug” Konkle, 38, reportedly helped her apparent boyfriend, Eddie “Ed” Daniel Collins, 39, sell methamphetamine (meth) at the couple’s home at 222 Rice Street, Austin, on that date. Detective Don Campbell of the Austin Police Department helped set up the undercover purchase, which he reported was successful.

Collins was charged with Level 5 felony dealing in meth. Konkle was charged with Level 6 maintaining a common nuisance. According to the probable cause affidavit, she was present during the illegal transaction, and she told the buyer that, if the crystal substance is broken, it would become “dust.”

The pair was arrested on March 23, and booked into the Scott County Security Center. Part of that booking process is disrobing one piece of clothing at a time with a jailer present. Each piece is then checked by the jailer, and other clothing is given to the prisoner to wear while he/she is incarcerated.

When Konkle was told to disrobe by the female jailer, she took off her shirt but then turned her back on the jailer. Told to turn around and face the jailer, Konkle allegedly put her hand inside her bra and then put a small baggie inside her mouth, apparently in an attempt to swallow it.

Konkle later supposedly admitted to Detective Campbell that the baggie contained meth.

The jailer took Konkle to the floor, and Det. Campbell and Austin Patrolman John Smith entered the room to assist the jailer in restraining the woman. Told to spit out the baggie, Konkle instead kicked and yelled and then allegedly bit the jailer’s finger.

Because of those actions, new charges were prepared against Konkle. When she arrived in Scott Circuit Court the next day, she learned that the new case charged her with Level 5 and Level 6 battery, Level 6 felony possession of meth and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Both cases were set for trial on June 6. Her bail on the maintaining charge is $20,000 by corporate surety bond or $2,000 cash. The new case has a bond of $50,000 by corporate bond or $5,000 cash.

A public defender has been assigned in each case.

Jeep accessories attract apparent thieves; suspects in custody three hours later PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:42



A curious Wal-Mart shopper can be thanked for helping with the resolution to an unusual theft in the store’s parking lot on Saturday, March 25.

The incident began around 1:30 p.m. when a shopper noticed two men “…messing…” with a parked black Jeep as he was putting his purchased groceries in his vehicle parked nearby. According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by Sgt./Detective Steven Herald of the Scottsburg Police Department (SPD), the male shopper related that “…he thought it was their Jeep until they took the light bars off (the vehicle) and began loading them into a silver Toyota.”

Using his cellphone, the man took a photo of the Toyota’s license plate. When the detective requested registration information, he learned that the Toyota was owned by James E. Bowyer of Marysville. Bowyer, 35, had been charged on March 10 in a local criminal case involving possession of methamphetamine (meth), maintaining a common nuisance, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released four days later on bail pending his jury trial on June 20.

Information about the theft of the two accessories, valued at over $500, and a description of the two men and the Toyota was distributed to other area departments.

At 4:39 p.m. that day, Det. Herald was patrolling on U.S. Highway 31 South when he said he saw a silver Toyota parked at a Scottsburg business. He called for backup after confirming the license plate number, and Patrolman Trevis Burr arrived and helped to block in the vehicle.

A man came out of the store and turned north, walking away, the officers noted. Ptl. Burr stopped him, asking him how he had gotten to the store and if he’d been in the Toyota. The man said he had walked there.

Asking for identification, the officers learned they were talking to Bowyer. As they stood there with the suspect, another man and a woman came out and appeared to avoid the police. Det. Herald handcuffed Bowyer while Ptl. Burr walked toward the couple. During Bowyer’s pat-down, the detective said he found a box of Nutty bars in the man’s crotch, fruit cups in his sleeve and other items in a pocket. All had allegedly been shop-lifted from the store. Value was set at a little under $22.

The officer stated he also found several knives and tools on Bowyer and a plastic container which contained meth. Bowyer said he found the meth on a shelf inside the store.

The couple was identified. Aaron M. Couch, 27, Scottsburg, said he and the woman rode to the store with Bowyer. The backpack that the couple had was identified as Couch’s.

Asked about the light bar theft, Bowyer allegedly said he “…could take us to it…” if he wasn’t arrested. Det. Herald refused that bargain. By this time, Deputy J.R. Ward had arrived to assist. He placed Bowyer in his patrol car to take him to the local jail. At that time, the affidavit stated that Bowyer wanted the deputy to recover the stolen light bars. The lights were found in the maintenance room of a Scottsburg motel.

While Bowyer and Couch were being transported, Det. Herald said he inventoried the contents of the seized Toyota. He said he found a glass pipe coated with meth in the center console. The backpack reportedly contained 17 syringes, more drug paraphernalia and .4 grams of meth.

Bowyer and Couch had initial hearings on Monday afternoon, March 27, before Senior Judge Nicholas South.

Couch is charged with Level 6 felony possession of meth and unlawful possession of a syringe and misdemeanor theft, visiting a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. Bowyer is not charged with visiting but rather maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6 felony, plus the meth, syringe and paraphernalia possession charges, two counts of misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor false informing.

Both cases have now been assigned to public defenders, and both men’s bail is set at $15,000 by corporate surety bond or $1,500 cash. The initial jury trial date for each is June 13.

Couch’s public defender has filed a motion for a lower bail amount or release on his client’s recognizance. No hearing had been set on that matter as of March 29.




Board of Works meeting with local landlords lively, ends with promise to compromise PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:40



About 20 people who own and rent houses and apartments in Scottsburg attended the March 28 meeting of the Scottsburg Board of Works and Public Safety.

And the meeting, concentrated on a proposed ordinance that would make each of them responsible for any unpaid utility bills left by their tenants, was lively but civil.

Scottsburg Mayor Bill Graham and fellow members of the board, Council President Bill Hoagland and former councilman Ray Zollman, changed their normal seating arrangement so they could face the long line-up of landlords. Nearly all knew the Mayor, he acknowledged, and he certainly knew the problems landlords face when renting properties.

“I’ve had the same problems you got now when I owned (rental property). I understand, I really do, but this city has had a tremendous write-off of unpaid utility bills, $245,000, and we’ve got to solve this problem because the city can’t operate in the ‘red’,” Mayor Graham told them.

He said one person who owns rental property, Tim Borden, was at the March 20 City Council meeting, a meeting at which the ordinance could have been passed and made law. Borden offered to study the issue and attempt to present at the March 28 meeting a possible solution.

With that, Borden took the floor. he advocated setting up a prepay system. The system he studied offers helps a customer to avoid a disconnect for no payment and can help them re-establish service if they have been disconnected. Under the system he advocated, customers who have a traditional account with a deposit can have their deposit applied against the total bill, thus helping them to meet their obligations.

Under a prepay system, customers can choose how much and how often they pay toward their owed balances. It’s actually buying electricity (or other utilities) before they are used.

“Jackson County REMC uses this, and it works for them. It has lowered the number of disconnects,” explained Borden. Prepaid customers are also more abstemious with their electrical use under the plan because they know more use means more will be owed.

Initially, under the plan he offered as an example, each customer does not pay a security deposit but rather sets up an account with the utility. The utility in turn reminds a customer when his credit balance is below, say, $50. Those notifications can be done by text or e-mail. Payments can be made during normal business hours or by calling or using the Internet-based payment system.

“This just seems like a better system than making the property owners responsible,” Borden said.

On his part, the Mayor feels affordable rental property “…is vital to this community. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to cause problems for you, we truly don’t, but we (government officials) are responsible for operating this city. We keep our electric rates low. We’re about 25% lower than some cities in this area, so that’s a lot of savings for our customers, but we’re getting abused and it has to stop.”

Changes in the electrical utility field, such as closing coal-fired plants in favor of more costly, environmentally-friendly plants which use natural gas, have caused costs to go up, the Mayor went on. “It’s a real challenge to bring in enough money to operate. I imagine we’ll have to raise rates some this year, but I don’t like to raise someone’s rates because of someone else out there not paying and influencing those rate hikes,” he said.

Prepay may be a way out of the situation, the Mayor agreed. In comments made by others at the meeting, he urged each landlord to add a clause that allows the city to provide tenants’ account information to them. “It’d be good if we’d do that, too, so that we could give that information to you,” he added.

Several landlords said they’ve been frustrated in the past because they could not get this account information. “We need better communication,” said Highland Glen manager Vickie Barnett, “between we landlords and between us and the city.”

“We want to know when someone is not paying,” said Mrs. James McCoskey. She looked at the Mayor as she said, “If they don’t pay, you let us know, and if they are not paying rent, we will let you know.”

Landlords should also list all persons residing at the address being rented, even children. “You know there are kids whose credit ratings are being ruined by their parents because they put the account in their kid’s name,” Jerry Boley stated. “I do try to list everyone, but sometimes some sneak in.”

It appeared all of the landlords and apartment managers were totally against becoming legally responsible for their tenants’ bills. “We have enough problems as it is,” one pointed out. “One bad tenant can wipe out a whole year’s worth of profit,” said another.

But their willingness to cooperate buoyed the board. Mayor Graham said a letter sent out telling landlords that the new ordinance would take effect April 1 “…is not right. We’re not going to do that. It’s not a good policy. What we need to do is keep communicating. We all need a good solution that we can live with.”


Defendants in Reynolds murder trials requesting, receive new trial dates PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:38



The three remaining defendants in the 2015 murder of a man south of Scottsburg have requested – or will be requesting – new trial dates for their alleged roles.

Johnetta Ruth Hall, 44, and her alleged co-conspirers, her daughter Amaris Rose Bunyard, 20, and Bunyard’s boyfriend, Kerry Ray Heald, 24, remain behind bars without bond. They and Jacob W. Mathis, 23, have all been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice in the death of Bill Albert Reynolds, 69. Reynolds was killed by a single gunshot to the head while he stood at a gate to his property on Slate Ford Road. The body was discovered by a neighbor.

Hall and the two young men were arrested the following week of the murder. Bunyard was taken into custody and charged the following February. Bunyard, Heald and Mathis lived in Clarksville at the time of the shooting. The state’s case claims that Hall was in a property dispute with Reynolds and arranged for Heald and Mathis to do the actual shooting with her daughter’s knowledge.

Chris Owens, Scott County Prosecutor, is handling all of the cases.

Mathis pleaded guilty last August to the conspiracy charge. He has a third status conference about his sentencing planned for Monday, April 17, court records revealed. Roger Duvall, now a Senior Judge following his retirement in 2016, will preside over the case. Mathis is being represented by Clark County attorney Stephen Beardsley.

Hall’s jury trial is still scheduled for Monday, April 24, in Scott Circuit Court, but her public defender, Nathan Masingo, has advised the court that he will be requesting a new trial date. Hall also has another attorney, Guy Haskell of Bloomington, representing her in the case. Daryl Auxier, of Jefferson Circuit Court in Madison, is serving as the presiding judge.

The jury trial for Heald, alleged to be the actual shooter, is scheduled on the court docket for June 22. It had been set for April 3, but, at a pre-trial conference in March, the new date was requested by Heald. He is being represented by public defender Mary Jean Stotts. Michael J. Hensley of Jefferson Superior Court, is presiding.

Bunyard’s trial was continued from March 6 to October 23 on a motion by the court. She has also retained an attorney, and Senior Judge Duvall will be on the bench.

Her final witness and exhibit lists are due September 22.

Injuries reported from recent vehicle crashes around county, in Scottsburg PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:37



Eight people were injured in recent vehicle crashes that happened on Scott County roads and in Scottsburg.

An early morning accident on Saturday, March 11, began in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 and ended on the portion of Fairgrounds Road that dead-ends at the interstate property.

According to the accident report, Rodney B. Wells III, 20, Nashville, Tn., was driving a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix northward when the vehicle went out of control and traveled across the east shoulder of the interstate, ending at 750 Fairgrounds Road. The mishap occurred at 1:35 a.m.

Wells said he “….was driving like I always do…” before the accident happened. The driver of another northbound vehicle told Scottsburg officers that he had his cruise control set at 75 mph, and the Pontiac passed him at a high rate of speed, going out of control on the slight curve of the highway.

Patrolman Loren Rutherford reported Wells had some pain at the scene and was treated by Scott County EMS technicians and First Responders. His passenger, identified as Ryan Wells, 13, also of Nashville, was more seriously injured, having either fractured or dislocated his hip/upper leg in the crash. He was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Property damage was estimated at up to $25,000 by Ptl. Rutherford.

Two accidents on county roads on Wednesday, March 15, and two more on Thursday, March 16, brought the total of injured to six.

A 22-year-old woman suffered a head injury in a one-vehicle accident just after 5 a.m. on March 15.

Sharla R. Radcliff, Scottsburg, was headed east on State Road 56 West when she lost control of her 1995 Chevy G10. She said the vehicle began to spin when it hit ice and snow around Finley Firehouse Road.

It struck a utility pole on the north side of S.R. 56 and continued onto privately-owned property where it struck a mailbox and a house before driving through a clothes line and hitting a tree. No one in the house was injured.

Radcliff told Deputy Josh Watterson she could not recall the accident because she lost consciousness. She was sent to Scott Memorial by ambulance for evaluation.

Property damage was listed as up to $5,000 by the officer.

Just before 9 p.m. that evening, an accident happened on Harrod Road about 680 feet east of its intersection with Booe Road.

Deputy Watterson was dispatched to the scene, finding drivers Wilson Mullins Jr., 43, and James D. Bowles, 34, Austin. Mullins was still in his 2003 Chrysler van, though the van’s driver side door was missing. His leg was reported severed from the knee down.

Deputy Watterson did not obtain much of a statement from the injured man, but Mullins reportedly said he’d had too much to drink and didn’t really remember much.

According to witnesses at the scene, Mullins was driving east when it struck a tractor-trailer parked on the road. The rig had its lights on at the time of the accident, the report noted.

The van went out of control, spinning and coming to rest in a ditch on the south side of Harrod Rd.

Mullins’ condition was precarious so an air ambulance was ordered, and a landing site was prepared east of the accident scene. The man was flown to University of Louisville Hospital.

Property damage was listed at up to $10,000.

The accident remains under investigation.

The two accidents that happened on March 16 occurred within 30 minutes of each other.

9-1-1 dispatchers notified the Sheriff’s Department that an accident had happened on Stage Coach Road about 8:50 p.m. in Finley Township.

Deputy Jac Sanders went out, finding the site about 500 feet north of Oak Hill Road. The driver was identified as Eric L. Anderson, 42, Brownstown. Anderson said he was northbound when, coming over a hill, he found a southbound vehicle in the middle of the road. He said he steered right to avoid a collision, causing him to run off the road.

Overcorrecting his steering, Anderson said he ran his 2008 Kia Rio into a ditch. The car spun around and rolled on its top, trapping him inside. Anderson said a passer-by stopped and helped him turn the vehicle over so he could get out.

Anderson was sent to Scott Memorial by ambulance because of neck pain.

The estimated property damage was listed at $10,000.

A side-swiping accident at 9:19 p.m. that same evening on Pine Hill Road in Lexington brought deputies James Shelton and Jac Sanders and Indiana State Trooper Tracey Spencer out after one of the vehicles sped off.

Tonie A. Carter, 45, Lexington made the 9-1-1 call for assistance. She said she was northbound on Pine Hill Rd. in her 2007 Chrysler Pacifica SUV when she encountered a southbound pickup truck partially in her lane.

The two vehicles side-swiped, she said, but the truck drove away from the scene. It was located after it had crashed just north of State Road 356. The driver, identified as Daniel L. Brown, 54, Lexington, suffered a possible neck injury and was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital by EMS personnel.

No statement was taken from Brown regarding the earlier accident because of his condition.

Brown wasn’t the only person injured that night. A passenger in the SUV, Matthew A. Young, 33, Lexington, was also transported to the local hospital because of unspecified pain.

Damage from the side-swiping accident was listed at up to $10,000 by Deputy Shelton.

An accident on S.R. 56 West in Scottsburg the following day, March 17, caused a possible back injury to a driver. It also resulted in the arrest of an Underwood man.

When Scottsburg Sgt. Rodney Watts pulled up to the scene of the mishap at 3 p.m., he said he found that Richard E. Smith, 46, had apparently been smoking marijuana as he drove his 1999 Nissan Frontier. The SUV had struck the back of a 2013 Ford F150 pickup driven by Steven E. Cooper III, 42, Sellersburg. The vehicles had been westbound, and the collision had taken place at the highway’s intersection with Oak Street.

Cooper was transported by Scott County EMS to Scott Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Smith was unharmed and was arrested. A small amount of marijuana was found by the officer. On Monday, March 20, Smith was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, a count of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a count of Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

A bench trial was scheduled by Judge Jason Mount for June 6. Smith was released on bond that same day. His license to drive was automatically suspended.




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