WARSAW — Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed has granted a motion to dismiss the charge of assisting a criminal against Joan Marie DeHart, 51, formerly of Syracuse. The charge stemmed from DeHart allegedly assisting Brandon Woody following the murder of Tara Thornburg and Josh Knisley Feb. 19, 2015, in Syracuse.
The prosecutor’s office filed the motion Tuesday, March 14. In the motion the state noted she was charged with assisting a criminal for allegedly delivering Woody from her house, where her son, Kyle DeHart, resides to an apartment complex in Warsaw while police were looking for Woody in connection to an investigation of murder.
The motion states she voluntarily withdrew, permanently, her teaching licenses and agrees not to engage in the teaching profession for the rest of her life. A copy of the stipulation, filed with the Indiana Department of Education, was attached to the motion. Additionally, the motion states IDOE has informed the prosecutor’s office her licensing records have been updated which reflect the withdrawal permanently of her teaching licenses and the information has been delivered to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification to be placed in the National Clearinghouse of Educator License Suspensions and Revocations.
Documents conclude: “Wherefore, the state of Indiana respectfully moves the court to dismiss this case without prejudice as such action is in the best interest of justice.”
DeHart was the final individual to be processed through the court system in the Thornburg/Knisley case.
A charge of obstruction of justice against Ashlyn N. Shepard, 23, Mishawaka, was dismissed in November, following her testimony at the trial of Woody and Kyle DeHart.
Thomas G. Hursey, 29, Warsaw, charged with two counts of murder, two counts of robbery and one count of obstruction of justice, was sentenced Jan. 26, to 27 1/2 years for his part in the murders. He will serve a total of 20 years, at the Indiana Department of Corrections with the remaining 7 1/2 years on formal probation. The sentence followed acceptance of a plea agreement, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding, inducing or causing robbery (with serious bodily injury).
A jury found Woody and Kyle DeHart were guilty in October and were sentenced Oct. 26. Woody received 120 years and DeHart received 110 years. Both are appealing their sentences.