Thursday, March 10, 2016

State of Indiana vs. Coltan A. Perryman

Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana – After a 3 day jury trial in Boone Superior Court 1, a twelve person jury returned a guilty verdict against Coltan A. Perryman, age 25.  The Hon. Matthew C. Kincaid presided over the proceedings of the jury trial.  The Defendant was represented by Boone County attorney Michael Gross.  The defendant did not testify at trial.  The case was prosecuted by Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer.

Perryman was convicted of battery on a child less than fourteen years of age resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 3 Felony and Neglect of a Dependent, a Level 6 Felony.  These convictions stem from charges that were filed against him on October 9, 2015.  In addition to these felony counts, Perryman was convicted of being a Habitual Offender.

Following the verdict, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Todd Meyer stated: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this case.  It is absolutely despicable what the defendant did to this 8 year old boy.  There is no excuse for punching an 8 year old child in the face with a closed fist – and to do it multiple times, I just don’t understand it.  The injuries this child sustained were difficult to look at and my heart goes out to him. He is a sweet young boy and I hope and pray he will not suffer any long term mental anguish as the result of what happened to him.  What makes it worse is the very person who injured him the way he did then attempted to keep him from getting the medical care he needed.  Like I said, it’s despicable and the jury saw that justice was done for this child and our community.  As for the habitual, this defendant has been given one break after another and the State has given him more than a couple of second chances, but there comes a time when you’re not going to get another chance and that time has come for Coltan Perryman.  He has now been held accountable for what he is – a habitual felon and I intend to seek a maximum prison sentence for him.”

The Defendant could face up to 16 years in prison on the Level 3 Felony along with a $10,000 fine, up to 2 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the Level 6 Felony and up to 20 years in prison for having been convicted of the habitual felon charge. Prosecutor Meyer indicated the State will seek the maximum penalty against this Defendant based on these convictions, which is 38 ½ years in prison. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

State of Indiana vs. Todd Richardson


Release:           Immediate
                        January 28, 2016

Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana – Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer announced today that
according to the five count Charging Information filed in Boone Circuit Court, The Honorable Judge Jeff Edens presiding, Todd M. Richardson has been charged in a rape case dating back to June 1990. 

These charges arise out of a cold case investigation conducted by the Lebanon Police Department with assistance from the Indiana State Police Crime Lab.    

The Criminal Information alleges that Todd M. Richardson committed the crimes of Attempted Rape, a Class A Felony; Criminal Deviate Conduct, a Class A Felony; Criminal Confinement, a Class B Felony; Burglary, a Class B Felony; and Intimidation, a Class C Felony. 

On June 12, 1990, a Lebanon resident was attacked and sexually assaulted in her own home.  The victim reported that a man broke into her house, threatened her with a knife and forced her to submit to sexual acts.  She was not able to see her attacker, but noted that his voice was familiar to her.  She also reported that he called her by a nickname that only her friends used.  Despite his warning not to report the attack, she immediately called a friend of hers who then called police.  Law enforcement responded and began to investigate the crime.  Officers collected a number of items from the home and requested that the victim submit to a sexual assault examination.  That examination yielded what is commonly referred to as a “rape kit”.  The rape kit included bodily samples and swabs taken from the victim’s body.  Due to limited technology at the time, not much information could be developed from the rape kit.  However, it was preserved and held as evidence for possible future testing.    Law enforcement continued to investigate the matter and follow various leads, but were unable to determine who assaulted the victim.

In 2008, the Indiana State Police Crime Lab contacted the Lebanon Police Department.  They advised that due to advancements in forensic science, they were reviewing old files to determine if they were able to obtain DNA evidence in those files.  ISP requested permission to test the rape kit collected in this matter in 1990.  After processing the rape kit and other items of evidence collected from the scene, scientists were able to develop a DNA profile for an unknown male.  That result was entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA index System (CODIS).  CODIS is a national database that contains the DNA of convicted offenders from across the United States.  The profile of the unknown male was compared to the known profiles contained in CODIS, but was not a match to any known profile at that time.

DNA profiles are continually being added to the CODIS database.  As these profiles are added, the unknown profiles continue to be compared to the database to determine if there is a match.  In October 2015, the Lebanon Police Department received word that there was a match in this case.  Todd Richardson’s DNA had recently been collected and entered into the CODIS database.  His DNA profile matched the DNA profile collected from the rape kit and other evidence in this case.  With this lead, the Lebanon Police Department reopened their investigation into the matter.  Detectives reached out to the victim in the case.  Through conversations with her, they were able to establish a connection between the victim and the suspect, Todd Richardson.  As a result of their continued investigation, the State filed charges against Todd Richardson including Attempted Rape, Criminal Deviate Conduct, Burglary, Confinement and Intimidation. 

“It is very, very rewarding to be able to file this case so many years after its occurrence in order to see that justice can be done for the victim of these horrible acts that were committed against her” said Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer.  “It is proof that the collection of DNA from convicted felons works to help solve crime.”  “I believe this case represents the third or fourth case in as many years that my office has prosecuted where we have been able to bring charges against a person for crimes he/she committed in the past, which would have otherwise gone unsolved.” 

Prosecutor Meyer further stated:  “At present, there are two Bills, to my knowledge, that are related to taking DNA samples from certain arrestees, that have been introduced at the General Assembly during the current session.”  These Bills are as follows:

HB 1015 DNA samples from felony arrestees (Rep. Bauer, Co-Authors: Rep. Steuerwald, Rep. McNamara, and Rep. Goodin): 

“Based on my experiences in being able to bring criminals to justice years after the fact through the collection and entry of their DNA into CODIS upon conviction, I strongly support this type of legislative effort to enact a law that would enable law enforcement to collect DNA from persons arrested for the alleged commission of a crime. If this tool was available to law enforcement, this simple truth exists – more crimes would be solved, more criminals would be held accountable, and justice would be done.”

If convicted of all charges Richardson faces a maximum penalty of 148 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

An initial hearing on the information will be scheduled before the Honorable Jeff Edens, Judge of the Boone Circuit Court today at 2:30 p.m.

This investigation is active and ongoing.

The Charging Information is an allegation only, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.

State of Indiana vs. Mitchel Shue/Miranda Roberts


Release:          Immediate
                        January 28, 2016

Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana – Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer announced today that
according to a Charging Information filed this afternoon in Boone Circuit Court, Mitchel Shue and Miranda Roberts were each charged with Neglect of a Dependent Child Resulting in Death, a Level 1 Felony.  Mitchel Shue was also charged with Maintaining a Common Nuisance, a Level 6 Felony; Possession of Marijuana, a Class B Misdemeanor; and Possession of Paraphernalia, a Class C Misdemeanor. 

These charges arise out of a joint investigation conducted by the Boone County Sheriff's Department and the Thorntown Police Department. 

The Criminal Information alleges that on or about January 20, 2016, while in the care and custody of his parents, Mitchel Shue and Miranda Roberts, baby D.S., who was 2 months of age, was placed in a situation that endangered his life and health in that Mitchel Shue and/or Miranda Roberts violently shook baby D.S. causing him to suffer multiple brain injuries. As a result of his injuries baby D.S. suffered a cardiac arrest, was revived by EMTs and transported to Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, where he again suffered cardiac arrest.  Medical personnel at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital were again able to revive him and he was placed on life support.  Baby D.S. was declared brain dead on January 22, 2016 and was later removed from life support.  Baby D.S. died at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital on January 23, 2016.  

“This case brings tears to my eyes” said Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer, “not only because of what happened to this baby and what he suffered through, but because it was absolutely preventable.”  “I know this happens, unfortunately, all too often, but I cannot for the life of me comprehend how someone could hurt a baby like this.”  “D.S. was a perfectly healthy 2 month old baby boy at his last doctor’s checkup a week or so ago and now he is gone from us.”  “The persons responsible for this baby’s death will be held accountable” said Prosecutor Meyer.

Prosecutor Meyer, who chairs Boone County’s Child Fatality Review Team and serves on the State’s Child Fatality Review Team, further stated that “there is help for parents or caregivers who find themselves in a situation where they are frustrated with an infant or child.”  Gretchen Martin, who is the Child Fatality Review Program Coordinator for the Indiana State Department of Health identified the following resources available to parents and caregivers:

  • Centers for Disease Control – Abusive Head Trauma website

  • National Center of Shaken Baby Syndrome program called the “Period of Purple Crying”

  • National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome – Educational materials aimed at fathers/men who care for infants

“Through this tragedy, it is important for the public to know some facts about shaken baby syndrome and how it can be prevented,” said Prosecutor Meyer who further stated: “according to research in the area, crying is the #1 trigger for shaking, and the data shows that shaking occurs most often during the developmental period between 2 weeks and 3-4 months, when babies tend to cry the most and are hard to console.”

According to the CDC, abusive head trauma (AHT), which includes shaken baby syndrome, is a preventable and severe form of physical child abuse that results in an injury to the brain of an infant or child.  AHT is most common in children under age five, with children under one year of age at most risk. It is caused by violent shaking or blunt impact.  The resulting injury can cause bleeding around the brain or on the inside back layer of the eyes.  Nearly all victims of AHT suffer serious, long-term health consequences such as vision problems, developmental delays, physical disabilities, and hearing loss. At least one of every four babies who experience AHT dies from this form of child abuse.  Research shows that AHT often happens when a parent or caregiver becomes angry or frustrated from a child’s crying. The caregiver then shakes the child, hitting or slamming the child’s head into something in an effort to stop the crying.
Crying—including long bouts of inconsolable crying—is normal behavior in infants. Shaking, throwing, hitting, or hurting a baby is never the right response to crying.

How Can Abusive Head Trauma Be Prevented?
You can play a key role in preventing AHT by understanding the dangers of violently shaking or hitting a baby’s head into something, knowing the risk factors and the triggers for abuse, and finding ways to support parents and caregivers in your community.

If you are a parent or caregiver
           Understand that infant crying is worse in the first few months of life, but it will get better as the child grows.
           Try calming a crying baby by rocking gently, offering a pacifier, singing or talking softly, taking a walk with a stroller, or going for a drive in the car.
           If the baby won’t stop crying, check for signs of illness and call the doctor if you suspect the child is sick.
           If you are getting upset or losing control, focus on calming yourself down. Put the baby in a safe place and walk away to calm down, checking on the baby every 5 to 10 minutes.
           Call a friend, relative, neighbor, or parent helpline for support.

If you are a friend, family member, or observer of a parent or caregiver
           Be aware of new parents in your family and community who may need help or support.
           Provide support by offering to give a parent or caregiver a break when needed.
           Let the parent know that dealing with a crying baby can be very frustrating—especially when you are tired or stressed, but infant crying is normal and it will get better soon.
           Encourage parents and caregivers to take a calming break if needed while the baby is safe in the crib.
           Be sensitive and supportive in situations when parents are trying to calm a crying baby.

Prosecutor Meyer added: “If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t think you’re in a condition to continue to watch after an infant or child, step out of the room and take a 3 minute break to collect yourself, pick up the phone, call one of the numbers referenced in the websites above, make a call to a friend, a family member or a  neighbor, do anything that will keep you and your baby safe, don’t let your frustration cause you to do any harm to the infant or child you are caring for.”

If convicted of the Child Neglect Resulting in Death charges, each of the Defendants face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  Shue also faces an additional 3 years in prison and an $11,500 fine if convicted of the drug charges. 

Shue and Roberts were both taken into custody on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 and are being held without bond at the Boone County Jail pending their initial hearings.  An initial hearing on the Charges will be scheduled before the Honorable J. Jeffrey Edens, Judge of the Boone Circuit Court later this week. 

This investigation is active and ongoing.

The Charging Information is an allegation only, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Motor Driven Cycle Laws Create New Classes, Requirements

Release:          Immediate
                        March 18, 2015

Motor Driven Cycle Laws Create New Classes, Requirements
New Laws Went into Effect on January 1, 2015

Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana – As the weather pattern turns to spring, Prosecuting Attorney Todd J. Meyer announced today changes to Indiana traffic laws that created three classes of motor driven cycles (MDC): motorcycles, Class A motor driven cycles and Class B motor driven cycles. The three classes come with different license and insurance requirements, as well as operating restrictions, said prosecutor Meyer. He went on to say: “Citizens should become familiar with the change in laws to avoid traffic violations.” In addition, Meyer stated: “Knowledge of Indiana’s motor driven cycles laws keep you legal on the street and help you avoid a traffic stop while riding for pleasure or on your way to work.” 

A major change is the new Class B for motor driven cycles of 50 cc (cubic centimeters) or lower.  Class B operators need a valid driver’s license or driver’s permit (no endorsement required) or an unexpired state of Indiana-issued identification card with a Class B MDC endorsement. A person with a Class B MDC is allowed to operate their vehicle while their operator’s license is suspended, so long as they have a Class B MDC Endorsement on an unexpired Indiana-issued ID card.

Other regulations specific to the Class B motor driven cycle:
           A driver must be age 15 or older.
           The driver must operate the MDC near right-hand edge of roadway unless passing another vehicle or preparing for a left turn.
           A Class B MDC may not be operated at more than 35 miles per hour.
           A Class B MDC may not be operated on an interstate highway or a sidewalk. 

ALL motor-driven cycles, regardless of size, must be registered and the driver must have some form of license or endorsed ID to be operated on a public highway.

No matter which type of motor driven cycle you drive, the following ALWAYS apply:
           Helmet required for those under 18.
           No texting and driving.
           Must operate in a position astride the seat.
           All motor driven cycles must display a license plate.
           Headlamps must be illuminated at all times while operating.

For more information on motor driven cycles, go to your local license branch or the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles web site: