WARSAW — “Today’s sentencing was very appropriate for the actions on Feb. 19, 2015,” stated Dan Hampton, Kosciusko County Prosecutor. Hampton held a brief press conference following the sentencing of Brandon Thomas Woody and Kyle David DeHart in the murders of Tara Lynn Thornburg and Josh Randall Knisley.
“Their actions were heinous,” he referenced Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed’s and Rhonda Bickel’s account of the murders. He stated the crime was outrageous, evil and wicked with their actions. “Judge Reed’s sentence of Brandon Woody to 120 years, (60 years for each count) was appropriate … For Kyle DeHart, was 55 and 55 years, for a total 110 … important ordered consecutively … appropriate measure up for what Rhonda Bickel called them — animals, evil men.”
Hampton noted the body cam and 911 call was pentacle to the case. He noted the body cam videos were offered into evidence by Syracuse Police Officers Joe Denton and Mike Bumbaugh. “She (Tara) was able to identify the shooter and articulate how it occurred.”
Referring to the new sentence guideline, which went into effect in 2014, individual’s sentenced must now serve 70 percent of their sentences. Formerly it was day for day or half the sentence. “Brandon Woody was sentenced to 120 years. He will not get out. Kyle DeHart the same … . At the end of the day, the community suffered the lost of two important people, they will also not have Brandon Woody and Kyle DeHart ever in the community again.”
Hampton was questioned about the remaining cases still on the dockets for the two individuals. Because the cases are still pending he could not respond, other than to state the accused are innocent until proven guilty.
The high attendance of the trial and sentencing was additionally addressed. Hampton stated the heart of the count is family centered. “With two families showing up in masses, they were here to show support for their loss and support for the system, which prevailed.” He referenced Rhonda Bickel’s comments to the court, noting she was articulate and expressed his appreciation for the support.
He also commented on the police agencies involved and their hard work to present the case “undeniably beyond any reasonable doubt.”