WARSAW — A plea hearing was scheduled this morning, Monday, Dec. 12, for Thomas G. Hursey, Warsaw. But due to no transport order being issued, the hearing was continued until 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14. Hursey is currently in the Whitley County Jail. He was transferred to the Whitley County Jail by order of the Kosciusko County Prosecutor.
Hursey was arrested on two counts of murder, both A felony charges; aiding, inducing or causing robbery with serious bodily injury, a level 2 felony; and aiding, inducing or causing obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony.
He was the third person charged with the murders of Tara Thornburg and Josh Knisley on Feb. 19, in Syracuse.
Hursey was a key witness for the prosecution of Kyle DeHart and Brandon Woody during their jury trial Oct. 3-6. The jury found DeHart and Woody guilty of their charges. DeHart was sentenced to 110 years and Woody was sentenced to 120. Both are appealing their sentences.
Hursey was the fifth and final individual charged in the murders and has been held in jail since March 2, 2015, on a parole violation.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, filed with the courts, Kyle DeHart, Brandon Woody and Thomas Hursey were together the night of the murder. The three went to Thornburg’s home at 305 W. Main St., Syracuse, with the intention of stealing marijuana from her.
The court records state Hursey told police what Woody and DeHart were wearing and how they planned on using tape and a utility knife to restrain Thornburg and cut her throat. At the residence, Thornburg gave Woody 1 ounce of marijuana, who gave the drug to DeHart. Woody then winked at DeHart.
Hursey told police Woody hit Thornburg in the face and then shot her with a handgun also in the face. The gun jammed with unspent cartridges falling on the floor at the foot of the bed. Kyle DeHart and Hursey then ran downstairs when they heard another shot. The three then left the residence in Kyle DeHart’s vehicle, with Kyle DeHart driving. Woody at that time said he had shot Knisley.
Kyle DeHart drove Woody and Hursey to his residence where items were burned in the backyard of the DeHart property. The three slept at the home of DeHart’s parents, Scott and Joan.
Joan DeHart allegedly drove Woody to Eastgate Apartments, Warsaw, where Kyle DeHart later drove to pick up Woody. DeHart then allegedly drove the two to Mishawaka.
Woody reportedly told police, at the time of his arrest Feb. 19, he had been with Kyle DeHart from Feb. 17 until his apprehension the afternoon of Feb. 19. It was a short time after Woody’s arrest they located and arrested Kyle DeHart at a residence in Mishawaka, a short distance from the One Stop Gas Station, Mishawaka.