Officers with the Drug Task Force, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department and county detective department are continuing their investigation into the Feb. 19 murders of Tara Thornburg and Joshua Knisley.
That investigation has taken officers to the area of CR 300E and Rookstool Road, north of Dewart Lake, where officers have been searching the area.
According to Detective Sgt. J.D. Ayers some evidence in relation to the murder has been located.
Approximately 10 police officers were in the area Tuesday.
Five individuals have been charged in connection with the murders, ranging from the actual murder to obstructing justice.
Brandon Thomas Woody, 23, Syracuse, has been charged with two counts of murder, a felony. Charging information states Woody knowingly or intentionally killed another human being, namely Joshua R. Knisley and Tara Lynn Thornburg.
Kyle David DeHart, 23, Syracuse, has been charged with two counts of murder, class A felonies, as the murders took place during a crime (robbery), and obstruction of justice, as he burned items used in the crime of robbery and/or murder.
Thomas Glen Hursey, 27, Warsaw, has been charged with two counts of murder, class A felonies, as the murders took place during a crime, aiding, inducing or causing robbery with serious bodily injury, level 2 felony – aiding Woody and DeHart in taking property from Thornburg, using or threatening the use of force resulting in serious bodily injury; and aiding, inducing or causing obstruction of justice, level 6 felony — aiding Woody and DeHart in burning items used in the crime of robbery and/or murder.
Ashlyn Nicole Shepard, 21. Mishawaka, has been preliminary charged with obstruction of justice, level 6 felony. She allegedly provided false information to authorities in a murder investigation.
Joan Marie DeHart, 49, Syracuse, has been charged with assisting a criminal, a level 5 felony. The charging information states DeHart, not standing in the relation of parent, child or spouse to another person, namely: Brandon Woody who has committed a crime namely, murder, a felony, or is a fugitive from justice, who, with intent to hinder the apprehension or punishment of Woody harbors, conceals or otherwise assists Woody.
Murder Charges Explained
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Daniel Hampton explained the various levels of murder which the state can file against an individual when a death occurs. In Indiana, and many other states, there are no varying degrees of murder.
Murder, according to Hampton, is the highest most severe charge in the state. Felonies are divided into seven categories based on the seriousness of the crime. These levels carry various penalties ranging from six months to 50 years.
Felony murder, according to Hampton, is the intentional act of murder and the most serious charge under Indiana law. However, a person can also be charged with murder, if a death occurs during a felony act, such as robbery. “The person can be held responsible as if they committed the act of murder,” stated Hampton.
The felony charge of murder carries a sentence range of 45 years to 65 years. In certain cases a murder conviction can result is a life sentence without parole and in certain cases can result in the death penalty being imposed.
Filed by the prosecutor, it is up a jury to decide on the sentence enhancement and make the recommendation. That recommendation is then certified by the judge. “Murder is the only charge that can have a sentence enhancement.”
- Hursey Charged As Fifth Subject Involved In Syracuse Murder
- Kyle DeHart Has Initial Hearing, To Hire Own Attorney
- Further Details Released Surrounding Murder
- Fourth Arrest Made In Syracuse Murder
- Woody Requests Bond Reduction
- Woody Has Initial Hearing This Morning
- Why Woody Was Out On The Street
- Kyle DeHart Now Charged In Syracuse Murders
- New Information Released On Syracuse Shooting
- Syracuse Shooting Victim Remembered As Big Hearted
- Neighbor Remarks On Syracuse Shooting
- Syracuse Shooting Suspect Now In Custody
- One Dead, One Critical Following Shooting In Syracuse
- Double Shooting In Syracuse