Owners of two properties don’t attend Wednesday night ‘unsafe’ hearings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 13:52

 

 

Aside from Austin city officials, a new city councilman and several curious residents, the unsafe housing ordinance hearings conducted Wednesday night, April 26, attracted few people.

Officials included Mayor Dillo Bush, city attorney Josh Stigdon, building inspector Albert Amburgey and Nathan Campbell and Brandon White. Campbell and White, who serves as Austin City Council President, are members of the Board of Works and Public Safety along with Mayor Bush.

The Board of Works is the city agency which conducted the hearings, both of which offered the owners of the properties “…an opportunity to appeal…,” advised Mayor Bush.

Apparently, the property owners, Elmer Barger and a variety of financial institutions and Tex Murphy, were not interested in the opportunity to discuss the house at 115 East Main Street and a garage at 115½ East Main Street. Barger and company are owners of record for the house; Murphy owns the garage behind the house.

In both cases, Amburgey had inspected the structures. The house is unsafe for residents, he had advised Mayor Bush. The garage is structurally sound but needs repairs, and all trash on the property needs to be removed.

On the house hearing, Stigdon asked if anyone was present to represent the lien holders. No one responded. With Amburgey’s recommendation, the three Board of Works members voted unanimously to order the house be torn down by Friday, May 12. If it is not demolished by that date, the city has the power to tear it down and clear the site.

On the garage, the board voted 3-0 to order the building site cleaned up and the structure repaired to city standards.

Both decisions will be recorded at the Recorder’s Office so that title searches on each property will reflect the board’s decision, Mayor Bush explained.

The mayor also announced that the city will purchase ten more dilapidated homes this year under the second phase of the Indiana Blight Elimination Program. The grant program allowed the city to clear out several houses and buildings starting in 2015. The federal program allows $6,000 for a house without a basement and $10,000 for a house with a basement.

A June 1 meeting will be scheduled to announce the program.

“We are still planning to pursue unsafe buildings (through the Austin ordinance process). It’s not going to win us any friends, but the buildings have got to go,” stated Mayor Bush.

 
Man’s alleged mistreatment of dogs leads to four counts of cruelty being filed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 13:50

 

 

After finding the remains of a dog which had apparently starved to death, Scott County Animal Control Officer Denny Robbins seized three other animals on East Ervin Road and provided paperwork to file a criminal case against the animals’ owner.

Mitchell Childress, 28, now faces four counts of Class A misdemeanor animal cruelty in Scott Circuit Court.

Childress is accused of allowing the death of one blue tick coonhound, failing to provide adequate water and food for two other hounds and allowing the collar to “dig” into the neck of one of those surviving dogs. A puppy was seized along with the two surviving adult dogs, and all are now being kept at the Animal Shelter in Scottsburg.

A call was received by the animal shelter staff on March 24 about the dogs. When he went to check on the animals, Robbins reported in a probable cause affidavit that he found the carcass of the dead blue tick hound. The dog was still tied to a tree.

The adult dogs were on short chains, and the female’s collar had rubbed on her neck, causing blood to drip on the dog’s chest, court documents said. Neither had food or water, said Robbins. The puppy had apparently been scrounging in neighbors’ trash, trying to find food.

When Officer Robbins got back to the shelter with the dogs, he said Childress called. The man said he thought the dead dog had been poisoned and that’s why he left the carcass out. He also allegedly told Robbins that he’d had the other adult dogs “…for a few days…” Childress said he’d call back with contact information on the dogs’ previous owner. When he called, Robbins said he could not provide a phone number.

A state veterinarian examined the animals. She scored the white hound a “2” and the blue tick hound a “1.5” on a scale of 1 to 9 for body condition. A “1” indicates severe malnutrition. The puppy was suffering from worm infestation.

The body of the dead dog was transported to Purdue University for a necropsy. That report from the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory reported on April 12 that the dog was markedly emaciated and dehydrated.

The probable cause affidavit related that Childress had failed to provide voice recordings on his cell phone about the dogs’ purchase as of April 13.

The four charges were filed against Childress on that same day. He was released on a $2,000 cash bond on April 19. Childress has hired an attorney to represent him.

Currently, Childress is scheduled to have a bench trial this Friday, May 5. A conviction on any of the charges will carry with it reimbursement to the county for the animals’ care and keeping. He will also be required to pay an impoundment fee of $40 plus $2 per day per animal.

 
Order free roadside number signs through May 19 to ensure easy identification PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 13:49

 

 

Free reflective, roadside numbers that can be easily installed and will help emergency response crews identify homes quickly are being offered through Friday, May 19.

Linda Dawson, Emergency Management Agency Director, explained that a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pay for the green reflective signs.

“Too many times in the past have our emergency services answered a 9-1-1 call for help and lost precious minutes trying to locate the home where the call was made. With these signs, we will be able to get help to those who need it quickly and efficiently,” she stated. Emergency services include law enforcement, ambulance, First Responders and firemen.

Members of the Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department will make each sign to order, just like they did years ago when the 9-1-1 emergency call system was first established in the county. Now, more such identifying signs are needed because some have been lost or deteriorated and more homes now dot the rural areas.

Not every house has its mailbox well-marked nor the house numbers displayed on the residence.

“And even if the house numbers are displayed on the residence, sometimes they cannot be seen after dark. We need a more efficient, effective way of getting help where it is needed as fast as possible. These markers will help. Seconds saved during an emergency can save a life,” stated Dawson. Roadside numbers are especially important for people who live in houses 120 or more feet off the road

The grant emphasizes providing ID signs in rural areas and for the elderly. Signs are 6x18. Installation should be high enough to avoid snow in the winter and weeds during the summer. Signs should be visible from either direction along the roadside.

Under the grant, the Johnson firemen will make each sign as an order is placed. Only one sign per household is allowed because of the limited quantity available through the grant program.

Signs can be ordered through May 19.

To request a free sign, call the EMA at 812-752-0564 and leave a name and phone number and the numbers needed on the sign. For example, if leaving the address 4508 Jones Road, all that is needed are the numbers 4508, Dawson explained. Contact information is needed because persons will be called when signs are ready to be picked up at the EMA office. It is located in the basement of the Courthouse in downtown Scottsburg next to the Purdue Extension/4-H offices.

 
Family members charged in brutal shooting deaths of woman, man in March, 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 13:46

 

 

 

Careful and persistent work on the part of officers with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department led to the charging of two North Vernon brothers and their cousin from Crothersville in the March, 2016, shooting deaths of Michele Brewer, 45, and Jesse Willard “Willie” Bowling, 51.

Brewer and her friend were killed by multiple gunshots at the mobile home they shared on State Road 356 east of Lexington late on March 28, 2016. When family members had not heard from Brewer, they went to the residence, finding Brewer and Bowling. Detective Jeremy Arnold was one of the first officers on the scene, following Deputy Rex Herald.

When autopsies were performed the following day, several small caliber slugs were recovered.

Also on March 29, David T. McIntosh, then 49, was arrested by then Austin patrolman Greg Green. Recovered were drugs, $1,200 in cash and a 9mm handgun. McIntosh, now 50, was charged with four Level 6 felonies, two counts of possession of a Schedule 1-4 controlled substance, one count of maintaining a common nuisance and a count of resisting law enforcement. An original charge of carrying a handgun without a license was dismissed in February of this year. His jury trial in the matter is scheduled June 1 in Scott Circuit Court.

When David McIntosh was processed at the Scott County Security Center for incarceration, officers said they found a spent .22 cal. shell casing in his clothing. They said they also located a handwritten note in the prisoner’s wallet, apparently giving directions to Brewer’s mobile home and directions to locate a small driveway. The drive leads to an area behind her home, and a path gives access to the woman’s backyard, according to the probable cause affidavits filed in the cases against the three McIntoshes.

Reportedly, both Brewer and Bowling were killed from someone shooting from outside the home.

Det. Arnold said he also learned through his investigations that Roger McIntosh, 57, Crothersville, was a cousin to David and Phillip McIntosh, who are brothers. Roger allegedly gave Phillip at least $700 to buy a car. Phillip was seen driving the car the day before the murders. The next day, March 28, he sold it to another man for $200.

Phillip McIntosh, then 53, surrendered to the local Sheriff’s Department on March 31 after learning of a warrant issued for his arrest in a Jennings County case. In the case’s affidavit, Det. Arnold said calls made by Phillip to a friend related that Phillip expected “…to be coming into some money…” after he was released. He also allegedly told his friend to tell Roger McIntosh “…it would be in Roger’s best interest to either bond (Phillip) out or put money on his (jail commissary account)…”

Det. Arnold also noted that his investigation turned up a recording allegedly of Roger McIntosh talking about wanting to kill Brewer and Bowling. Apparently, Roger McIntosh wanted to silence the pair because each had been recorded buying drugs from him.

Late last November, a property owner off Getty Road in the Lexington area discovered a wrapped .22 cal. rifle hidden on his property. The rifle had a contraption that captured spent casings, and several were in it. A mark on the casings was “…very similar…” to a mark on the spent casing found in David McIntosh’s clothing, the detective related.

A talk with Roger McIntosh’s nephew purportedly revealed that Roger used the nephew’s computer to view some CDs that contained audio and visual recordings of Brewer buying narcotics from him as a confidential informant (CI). At the end of that February or early in that March, the nephew said Roger came back to his home and got two of his guns the nephew had been keeping for him. One was a Ruger 9mm handgun, apparently the same one David McIntosh had when he was arrested in Austin. Roger also apparently took a .22 cal. Excam handgun with wooden grips, purportedly the same gun that was recovered from the Getty Road woods.

An interview with Roger McIntosh on January 31 of this year was revealing. As he talked with Det. Arnold and Det. Dave Mitchell of the Indiana State Police, Roger apparently told them about the money he had given Phillip to buy a car and how he got the guns from his nephew. He said he practiced shooting the guns with David and Phillip McIntosh and that he gave David McIntosh the 9mm handgun and Phillip a .22 cal. rifle.

He also allegedly told the officers that Phillip had wrapped the barrel of the rifle in an attempt to silence it when fired.

Roger McIntosh supposedly told the officers that David McIntosh came to his home and told him Phillip had killed the couple. He said he gave David over $1,000 during this visit, but Roger McIntosh said he did not hire either David or Phillip to do the killings.

Phillip McIntosh talked to Det. Arnold several times, allegedly telling him that he shot Brewer because he was hired by Roger McIntosh to do so. He said Bowling was killed because he was at the mobile home when Phillip arrived.

Phillip said that he had discussed killing Brewer with his brother and cousin several times in the months leading up to the shootings, simply to eliminate the woman as a witness in Roger McIntosh’s Jackson County criminal case. In return, Roger McIntosh supposedly promised “…that they’d be taken care of, their mother would be taken care of…” and that he would deed over to them a lot and residence in Blocher.

Phillip said he “…had some hesitation…” about shooting the woman, but Roger McIntosh allegedly pressed him to kill Brewer “…(or) that he needed to bring back the car and tools (guns)…” He went to the mobile home late on Easter Sunday, 2016, and shot the couple.

Phillip McIntosh took Det. Arnold and Det. Paul Clute on his alleged path from the murder scene to where he said the guns were tossed. He also supposedly told them he went to his residence in North Vernon and burned the clothes he wore. When he called his cousin to report the shooting, he said Roger McIntosh told him he’d get him some money.

David McIntosh and Phillip McIntosh had their initial court hearings on Thursday afternoon, April 27, before Senior Judge Alison Frazier. A preliminary plea of not guilty to murder and conspiracy to murder was entered for David McIntosh. Phillip McIntosh’s preliminary not guilty plea is to two counts of murder and one count each of conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice. Each of the brothers were assigned an initial jury trial date of July 31, and their cases were forwarded to the public defenders’ board for assignment.

No bail was set for either brother. Scott Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount recused himself from the cases, with Judge John Terrence Cody assigned to the David McIntosh case and Andrew Adams to the Phillip McIntosh case. Judge Mount filed a recusal in Roger McIntosh’s case as well.

Roger McIntosh is serving a 13-year sentence in Jackson County for dealing drugs. It is not known when he will be transported from the Brownstown facility for an initial hearing here. His charges are two counts of murder, one of conspiracy to commit murder and one of obstruction of justice.

An additional penalty notice was filed by Prosecutor Chris Owens in the cases of both Roger McIntosh and Phillip McIntosh because of the use of a firearm to commit the crimes.

 

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Run-in with deer and additional accidents cause April injury count to increase PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 08:29

A run-in with a wandering deer by a Salem man on April 14 wasn’t a good experience for either of them.

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