The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office has just released a probable cause affidavit regarding the Feb. 19 shooting in Syracuse. As a result of the shooting, Tara Thornburg and Josh Knisley died from gunshot wounds, and Brandon Thomas Woody, 22, 605 W. North St., Syracuse, was arrested.
Woody was taken into custody on Feb. 19, after being located at a gas station in Mishawaka. At the time of his arrest, he was reportedly sitting in a gold 2004 Ford Taurus, registered to Kyle DeHart. Shortly after Woody’s apprehension, Kyle DeHart was arrested at a residence in Mishawaka.
According to the affidavit, on March 4, an officer spoke with Thomas Hursey who admitted that on the evening of Feb. 19, he was with Woody. Kyle DeHart (in an earlier interview with Jacob Larkin) admitted to being with the group the same evening, but had been dropped off at his residence in Syracuse prior to the shooting. Woody, Kyle DeHart and Hursey went to Thornburg’s residence with the intention of stealing marijuana from her.
Hursey stated Woody and Kyle DeHart were both wearing gloves. They were also in possession of a black bag containing tape and a utility knife. Hursey said they planned to restrain Thornburg with the tape and slit her throat with the knife in order to ensure there would be no noise to wake Thornburg’s grandmother, who was believed to be at the residence at the time.
Upon arrival, Thornburg gave one ounce of marijuana to Woody. Woody handed it to Kyle Dehart and winked at him. Woody told Thornburg her money was in the vehicle outside and that he would go get it. Thornburg told Woody she was not falling for that trick and put out her hand wanting the marijuana back.
Woody proceeded to hit Thornburg in the face. Then he shot her in the face with a handgun. The handgun reportedly jammed, and unspent cartridges fell to the floor.
Hursey and Kyle DeHart then ran downstairs. Hursey stated he heard another shot fired. Shortly after, Woody arrived at Kyle DeHart’s vehicle. The three fled the scene, and Woody told them he had shot Knisley.
The three drove to Kyle DeHart’s parent’s, Scott and Joan, house. Woody and Kyle DeHart burned several articles of clothing at the residence, as well as the original bag containing the marijuana stolen from Thornburg. The black bag containing the utility knife and tape was left at the DeHarts’ residence.
According to Hursey, Joan DeHart woke he and Kyle DeHart up around 5 a.m. Feb. 19 and told them police were looking for Woody for the murder of two people. She asked where Woody was, her son advised her he was down stairs sleeping. She told them she heard them come in and would be their alibi.
Shortly after, Joan DeHart and Woody left the residence. Not long after, Hursey and Kyle DeHart left the residence. The two met up with Woody in a parking lot at Eastgate Apartments, Warsaw, where Hursey exited the vehicle and Woody entered the vehicle. Hursey stated that Woody and Kyle DeHart left. It was later determined that Woody met with a resident of Eastgate Apartments in Warsaw, but the resident made Woody leave.
Officers executed a search warrant on Scott and Joan DeHart’s home on March 4. A black bag matching Hursey’s description, a utility knife, lighter fluid and an outdoor burn pile that contained pieces of charred clothing were found. During the warrant service, Joan DeHart admitted to driving Woody to Warsaw.
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