KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Heather Kay Hersha, 32, 8013 E. CR 250S, Pierceton, is facing charges of criminal confinement, a level 3 felony, and aiding, inducing or causing a battery, a level 5 felony. She is accused of assisting Shawn Lee Jefferson, 40, Pierceton, in a battery, along with Freddy Lee Roberts, 40, Mentone.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department received a call on Dec. 19, 2017, advising that a motorist was following a gray passenger vehicle when the trunk came open and the motorist observed a man in the trunk bleeding from the head. Officers were unable to locate the vehicle.
That same morning, Noble County officers received information of a male subject bleeding from the head on the side of the road.
A Kosciusko County officer went to Noble County and spoke to the victim. The victim advised that he had gone to Jefferson’s home to meet Hersha. The victim later advised he believed Hersha lured him to the residence, advising she had stated that Jefferson was not there. When the victim arrived at the home, Hersha opened the door and walked away. The victim walked in and was struck with what he believed to be a baseball bat. The victim advised that Jefferson jumped on top of him, at one point sticking his finger into the victim’s mouth. The victim bit off his finger.
The victim advised that he stopped fighting when Roberts stated he had a gun, also stating that Hersha had a knife. The victim advised that he had tried to jump through a window but it did not break. The affidavit states that after a struggle the victim was tied to a chair and held captive at the residence before he was put into the trunk of a vehicle.
It was advised that the fight and captivity began at 1 a.m. and lasted until 6 a.m.
The victim was made to remove his coat and any belongings in his pockets. Jefferson handed these items to Roberts and told him to burn them. It was then Roberts left the residence.
The affidavit states that Jefferson held a knife to the victim’s back and led him to the victim’s vehicle, placing him in the trunk. The victim stated that he was able to open the trunk at one time but was unable to flee because he was tied up.
The affidavit states that Hersha and Jefferson then drove to a wooded area and parked. The victim observed Jefferson with a rope and a rag and was pouring liquid onto the trunk of the vehicle. The victim thought Jefferson was going to set the car on fire.
The victim advised that he could hear another vehicle in the wooded area, that he heard the car doors shut and the vehicle drive away, later advising that Hersha had told him to wait five minutes before getting out of the trunk.
Hearing the vehicle leave, the victim exited the trunk and fled the woods to the roadway. Officers located the victim’s vehicle in the woods as he had described.
According to the affidavit, the victim sustained a swollen face, his right eye swollen shut, nose broken, left eye blackened, a bite mark on his chest, right hand bruised and injuries to his legs.
The affidavit states that officers obtained a search warrant and went to Jefferson’s residence. Inside officers found blood all over the floor. Officers spoke with a male at the residence who advised that Jefferson had gotten into a fight and had his finger bitten off. Jefferson confirmed the fight. Jefferson also advised that Roberts had been at the residence during the altercation.
Officers spoke with Roberts, who advised he was present at the time of the fight but then left.
When officers spoke to Hersha she advised that the victim had wanted to come over to the residence so she said he could. Hersha then confirmed the fight, stating that the victim had blood on his face and that Jefferson’s finger had been bitten off.
Hersha was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on Jan. 8 and held on a $20,250 surety and cash bond. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Jefferson and Roberts.