Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Investigation Leads to Arrest of Three Ripley County Residents

On December 18, 2012, an investigation into the Manufacture of Methamphetamine was initiated in Franklin County, Indiana by Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation Officers resulting in the apprehension of three Ripley County residents involved in drug activity.

With the investigation leading to Ripley County, Indiana, a cooperative effort between the State Police, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Batesville Police Department and the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the seizure of Methamphetamine, Marijuana and criminal charges being filed in both Franklin and Ripley Counties.

Arrested on Franklin County charges pursuant to investigation by Indiana State Trooper Christopher Howell, were 36-year-old Jerry L. Flannery Jr.., of Morris, and 38-year-old Benny A. Flannery, of Batesville, for Manufacture and Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Class B Felony – Possession of Methamphetamine Precursors, Class D Felony – Dumping Controlled Substance Waste, Class D Felony.

Subsequently on January 8, 2013, pursuant to investigation by Ripley County Sheriff’s Lt. Randy L. Holt, charges were filed by the Ripley County Prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued through the Ripley Superior Court resulting in the second arrest of 36-year-old Jerry L. Flannery Jr., who was out of jail on bond for Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, Class D Felony – Possession of a Controlled Substance, Class D Felony – Neglect of a Dependent, Class D Felony, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Class A Misdemeanor.

46-year-old Lorri J. Doherty, also of Morris, was arrested for Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, Class D Felony – Neglect of a Dependant, Class D Felony and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Class A Misdemeanor.

Both Flannery and Doherty were transported to the Ripley County Jail where they were incarcerated pending bond.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Saturday, December 22, 2012 at approximately 9:30 AM, Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of a twenty five year old male unconscious and unresponsive, from a residence on State Road 350, east of Osgood.  Emergency services personnel immediately responded, and upon their arrival found 25 year old Nicholas W. Meister deceased. The Ripley County Coroner’s Office was notified, and also responded to the residence.  Corporal Rob Bradley is the investigating officer, in conjunction with Deputy Coroner Lauren Thielking. They were assisted at the scene by Ripley County Medic; Rescue 69, and Osgood First Responders.  There is no foul play suspected, and the cause of death is still unknown at this time. Results will be released pending return of coroner's report. This could be up to several weeks.

At about 9:10pm, December 18, 2012, RCCC received a call of an unknown type crash on US 50 east of Elrod, near Farmer’s Retreat.  As deputies arrived on scene, they found a semi tractor/ trailer hauling animal parts had ran off the road, overturned, and lost it’s load.  The driver, 43 year-old James Stevens, Ky, suffered a head injury, and was transported to MMCH via Rescue 30.  The tractor trailer was recovered by Davis Towing and secured for inspection by ISP.  The crash is still under investigation, and the company, Wolfe Transport, was hauling the animal parts for Griffin, the same company that was involved in the release of cargo back in the summer.  Deputy Hankins, who is investigating the crash, was assisted by other deputies, Milan Fire, Ripley County Medic, and Emergency Mgt.

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office arrested two males this morning around 6:00 AM for meth related charges.


Officers responded to a call of suspicious activity in the area of the north Laughery Valley Co-Op on US 421. After a traffic stop was initiated, officers found evidence of meth related material.

Indiana State Police’s meth suppression team responded to assist in the removal of the property.

Rodney Chadwell, 48, of New Richmond, Ohio, was arrested for Theft, Illegal possession/transportation/storage of Anhydrous Ammonia.  Bryan Arthur, 40, of Sardinia, Ohio, was arrested Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Illegal possession/transportation/storage of Anhydrous Ammonia.  Charges will be forwarded to the prosecutor for formal charging.  The Sheriff's Office was also assisted by Osgood Fire.  The case is still under investigation. Any one with information on this arrest, or any other criminal activity, is urged to contact their local jurisdictional police agency.  You can reach the Sheriff’s Office at 812.689.5558.  Those arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Five injured in Thanksgiving eve crash.

On Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 at approximately 4:53 pm Ripley County Communications received a report of a single vehicle accident with injuries located east of New Marion on County Road 450 S.

When Deputy Steve Sullivan arrived on scene, he found a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Sport in a field on the south side of the roadway. The driver, a 17 year-old female, had sustained a severe head and arm injury.  Rebecca Bornstein, the front seat passenger, was ejected and lying on the ground next to the SUV complaining of back pain. 19 year-old Delaney Drake, a back seat passenger was complaining of a possible broken collarbone. Sergio Poitan, a backseat passenger received a small cut above his left eye. A third back seat passenger, a 2 year old boy, who was secured in a child safety seat, received a small cut to his left wrist.

An eye witness to the crash called 911. A witness account and evidence at the scene suggests the vehicle ran off the roadway and then over corrected to the left and came back onto the roadway, where the driver over corrected back to the right causing the vehicle to run off the roadway and into the ditch on the south side of the roadway.  The SUV struck the ditch and rolled onto its side where it slid on its side until it struck the embankment causing the SUV to flip and land back onto its wheels.  Pointan, the rear passenger, told officers every one in the vehicle was wearing seat belts. The driver was flown from the scene by PHI to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati Ohio and was listed in critical condition.

Bornstein was also flown by air-method to UC Medical Center in critical condition.

The 2 year-old was taken by Rescue 69 to Kings Daughter Hospital in Madison.

Rescue 30 took Drake to Kings Daughter Hospital for injuries he received in the crash.

Poitan refused Medical treatment.  Sgt. Houseworth, Deputy Mckittrick, ISP, New Marion Fire, Versailles Fire, Rescue 69, Rescue 30, KDH EMS and Ripley County Medic assisted Deputy Sullivan at the scene The crash is still under investigation

Tuesday afternoon, October 23, Deputies with the Sheriff's Office, along with the Indiana State Police and Milan Police Department, investigated the remanents of a meth lab in the area of North Spades Road, between Milan and Sunman. During this investigation the remains of a second meth lab were located on the property located at 8561 North Spades Road. Subsequently, Mary Hayes, 34, Milan, was arrested at the time, and incarcerated. Hayes has now been charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine.
This case is still under investigation by the Sheriff's Office and Indiana State Police’s Meth Suppression Team.
 All subjects are innocent until proven guilty.

On October 25, at approximately 6:53 pm, Ripley County Communications received a report of a 14-month-old child struck by a pick-up truck in front of the address of 4722 W. Hopewell road Holton.


When officer’s arrived on scene, CPR was in progress on 1–year old Adrik Hanaway, North Vernon, who was lying in the middle of Hopewell Road. Officers were told Adrik was playing in the yard with his older sister and brother before the accident. It is unclear at this time why the child was in the roadway.


Rescue 69 personnel and the Ripley County Medic transported Adrik to Jennings County Hospital in critical condition. Adrik was then flown by PHI from Jennings County Hospital to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis where he passed away from injuries he received in the crash.


19 year-old Jonathon Phillips, of Holton, told Officers he was operating his 1992 Ford Ranger pick-up heading westbound on Hopewell Road at approximately 38 mph. Phillips said he had been texting before the accident. Phillips said he looked down to set his cell phone down, when he hit something in the roadway. Phillips said he thought he had struck an animal, and turned around to see what he had hit. When Phillips returned, he realized he had struck a child.

Phillips was very distraught, but cooperated with investigators completely. Officers do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.


The accident is being investigated by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was also assisted at the scene by Osgood, Holton, and Versailles Police Departments, Indiana State Police, Holton Fire, Rescue 69, and Ripley County Medic.

Once the investigation is near completion, information will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review.


Law Enforcement cannot reiterate enough driving a vehicle requires all of the driver’s attention. Communication devices, radios, eating, reading material, and applying make up, to name a few, are all things officers observe on the roadways that distracts drivers and leads to tragedies such as this.

On Tuesday October 9, 2012 Deputies with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, along with Milan Police Department, went to a residence on Delaware Road to attempt to serve an arrest warrant on 27 Year old Jesse Wayne Wall of Milan for his involvement in alleged meth lab back in the summer.

When officers entered the residence they found what appeared to be an active meth lab inside of the residence.  A search warrant was obtained, and executed at the residence. The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab team was contacted to assist where they arrived to collect and dispose of the dangerous chemicals.


There were three subjects located inside of the residence who were all arrested at the time.


Jesse Wayne Wall of Milan, 34 Year old Timothy Winters of Napoleon, 22 Year old Sally Clayton of Versailles


This incident is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police.  All subjects arrested in this investigation are innocent until proven guilty.

On Saturday October 6, 2012 about 10:30 PM, a woman was forced into her home by a male subject, after answering a knock at the door. The victim was in the residence alone. The victim was able to overpower the assailant and force him back out of the residence. The victim was not injured. This occurred in the area of Glasgow Street in Osgood, and investigators believe that the suspect lives or frequents in the immediate area based on facts gathered during the investigation.
The suspect was described as a 6 foot tall, 160 lb male, with brown hair, dark complected, and very hairy arms. The night of the incident the suspect was wearing dark T-shirt and blue jeans.  Investigators received a sketch of the suspect. You can click on the sketch to make it larger.

The Sheriff's Office is being assisted by Osgood PD and Cincinnati PD.

If anyone recognizes this individual please contact the Ripley County Sheriff's Office 812-689-5558.

On Monday, October 1, at approximately 5:54 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injury located on Friendship Road, south of US 50 in Elrod.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found that 27 year old Jessilyn Pickett, of Versailles, had been traveling south operating a silver 1999 Chevrolet Blazer when her vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, striking a culvert, and overturning.

Pickett, who was ejected from the vehicle and the only occupant, was transported by rescue to Margaret Mary Community Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

The accident is currently under investigation by Lt. Randy L. Holt, RCSO, who was assisted at the scene by other deputies, Rescue 69, Friendship Fire Department, and Ripley County Medic.

Regina Beard, 37, Sunman, Phillip Cornelius, 36, Sunman, and Brandon Miller, 18, Sunman have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged Meth Lab according to court records.  On Thursday, September 6, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office developed information that led to the issuance of a search warrant at 627 Eastern Ave, Sunman, IN 47041.  Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, being assisted by Sunman Police and the Indiana State Police, executed the warrant at about 8:15pm that same day.  A female juvenile who was at the residence was taken into custody as well.  All three subjects were incarcerated for Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, and the female juvenile was released to the Dept. of Child Services.  Sheriff Tom Grills noted, “ This is a case where information obtained allowed law enforcement to develop enough to get a search warrant.   All the agencies then came together to execute.   Nobody was injured and that is key.   When you are dealing with these types of chemicals used to manufacture meth, they are very dangerous and prone to explosion. I am glad none of us, including the arrested, were injured.”  The incident is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, and if you have any additional information on this case, or any other illegal activity, you are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 812.689.5558 or  You can remain anonymous.  As always, arrested person(s) are always presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Sunday, September 23 at approximately 2:57 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a two-vehicle accident involving injuries located on US 50, west of Holton, near the Ripley/Jennings County line.  Arriving on scene, deputies found that 72 year old Alma M. Herbert, of Bedford, Indiana had been traveling west on US 50, near County Road 1000 west, operating a blue 2005 Honda Accord, when the vehicle she was operating traveled left of center and for unknown reasons collided head on with a black 2000 Ford F-350 truck, which was operated by 54 year old Jefferey A. Jones of Holton, who was traveling east on US 50.  Jefferey A. Jones, the only occupant of his vehicle, was airlifted by PHI to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of internal injuries.  Alma M. Herbert, the only occupant of her vehicle, had to be extricated, and was transported by ground ambulance to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital where she died as a result of her injuries.  The accident is currently under investigation by Deputy Ryan Mckittrick of the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office who was assisted at the scene by Lt Randy Holt, RCSO, the Indiana State Police, Holton Police, Versailles Fire Department, Holton Fire Department, Rescue 69 & Ripley County Medic.

On Wed. September 5, 2012, the Sheriff and his deputies, along with the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, completed a countywide sweep of all the sex offenders who are active in the county. 

Out of the 62 offenders registered, 47 are active and were checked on. All 47 offenders were compliant during the sweep. Only one offender didn’t possess a current ID and was given 48 hours to produce one with his current address.  11 offenders have moved out of the county, and 15 are currently incarcerated.  Several miscellaneous warrants were attempted during the sweep, but addresses were either not current, or the wanted person was not at home.  Sheriff Grills noted, “The sweep was a success I think. The Office, under my administration, is more dedicated to keeping up with the registry than before. And with the dedication and support of Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ryan King, who handles almost all the sex offender violations, we can pursue those who violate and hold them accountable. We need to protect our children the best we can.”  The Sheriff also encourages all schools, pre-schools, and daycares to contact the Sheriff’s Office to report their location so residency requirements can be complied with. If you need to contact the Sheriff's Office, they can be reached at 812.689.5558.  Additionally, citizens can go to, click on the link “sex offender registry” at the bottom of the home page, and follow the instructions to check their neighborhood and sign up to receive e-mail alerts. Offenderwatch powers this site.  The Sheriff wants to thank the community for their support and offering information to help the Sheriff’s Office continue to provide the best possible service to the community.

On Monday, September 10, 2012 at approximately 7:52 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible airplane crash located in a field near the intersections of CR 625 east and CR 300 north, Milan.  Once arriving on scene, Ripley County Deputy, Arron A. Smith Jr., discovered that 64-year-old Tony R. Greer, of Dillsboro, had been piloting a single engine ultra light aircraft when the engine stalled forcing Greer to make an emergency landing in a soybean field.  Greer, who was not injured in the incident, was the only occupant of the aircraft, and was able to land safely with no damage to the glider.  The incident was investigated by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was assisted at the scene by the Milan Police Department.

On Sunday morning, September 2, 2012, at approximately 3:20 AM, Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputy, Arron A. Smith Jr. responded to Youngman’s Marathon gas station located in Napoleon to investigate a report of telephone trouble at the business. On arrival, Deputy Smith discovered an audible alarm going off and that someone had broken the front door glass to the business.  Pursuant to the investigation into the incident, Deputy Smith received information that 24-year-old Derek C. Craft, of Osgood, was observed in the area. Deputy Smith followed up on the lead, resulting in the arrest of Craft for the break in.  Craft was arrested for Attempted Burglary of a Structure, Class C Felony and Criminal Mischief, Class B Misdemeanor. Craft was then incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail pending a hearing.  The incident is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was assisted at the scene by the Indiana State Police.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

August 29, 2012 Two people are lucky to be alive after a vehicle ran off the roadway and ended up on their front porch. Floyd and Mary Hunter, who live at 323 W. Vine Street, Sunman, told police they sit on their front porch every evening, and today because they had other plans to go to their daughter’s house, they were inside when a white passenger car ran off the roadway and onto their porch where they would have been sitting any other day. The crash caused extensive damage to the Hunter’s home. Mary called 911 at about 5:40pm and told Ripley County Communications the white passenger car had left and headed west on Washington Street. When Ripley County Deputy Jason Dickerson arrived on scene, he located witnesses that pointed out the direction they believed the white passenger car and driver had gone. Deputy Dickerson found a vehicle matching the description behind a trailer on Washington Street, and observed heavy front-end damage to the vehicle that was consistent with the crash.  The driver, later identified as Michael L. Houze, 31, Erlanger, KY, was subsequently arrested for Operating While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. The incident is still under investigation by Deputy Dickerson of the Sheriff's Office, and if you have any supporting information, you are encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office. Ripley County Sergeant Corky Houseworth and Deputy Steve Sullivan assisted Deputy Dickerson at the scene.  Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

During the evening hours of August 23, 2012 Ripley County Communications received a 911 call of an automobile accident on I-74 eastbound near the 151-mile marker.

Authorities arrived on scene at approximately 8:33pm and discovered a single vehicle traveling eastbound had left the roadway and struck a guard fence in the median. The driver Chelsea L Russo, 24, and passenger Hailey Russo, 22, both of Simi Valley, CA had sustained minor injuries. Both passengers in the vehicle were treated and released on scene by Rescue 10. 

According investigating officers Deputy Kendall Hankins, and Deputy Steve Sullivan the vehicle appeared to have, for unknown reasons, lost control and traveled north crossing thru the passing lane, and then into the median. The vehicle struck a protective guard fence head-on before coming to rest near an emergency turn-a-round.  Both driver and passenger were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.  Other responding agencies included: Batesville Police Department, Batesville Fire, and Ripley County Paramedics

On August 18, at about 8:18pm, Ripley County Communications had a report of a single vehicle motorcycle crash.


Mark Hornsby, 55, Holton, was westbound on CR 450 S operating his 1985 Harley Davidson, near New Marion, when for unknown reasons, left the roadway.  Horsnby was flown by PHI to University of Cincinnati with serious injuries he sustained in the crash.  His condition is unknown at this time.  The crash is still under investigation by Deputy Marcus McConnell, other deputies with the Sheriff’s Office, New Marion Fire, Versailles Fire, Rescue 30, and Ripley County Medic.  If anyone has information regarding this crash, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 812.689.5558

On August 22, 2012, at about 245pm, officers from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a traffic crash on CR 200 S East of Cave Hill Road.  Once on scene, it was discovered that two vehicles had collided, off center head on.

Amy S Feller, of Versailles, was traveling east on CR 200 S. Jennifer Asche, of Dillsboro, was traveling west on CR 200 S. Amy S Feller was transported by air to University of Cincinnati. Feller’s infant passenger was treated and released to family at the scene of the accident. Jennifer Asche refused medical treatment at the scene.  A male juvenile was transported by air to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati from Jennifer Asche’s vehicle.

Other responding agencies include: Versailles Fire, Rescue 69, Milan Rescue 30, Ripley County Medic, and other deputies from the Sheriff’s Office.  The accident is currently under investigation by Cpl. Rob Bradley, Ripley County Sheriff Office.  Injury updates are not available at this time, however you can contact the media rep at UC for further.

At about 4:31am, August 16, Ripley County Communications received a report of a pedestrian struck in the roadway on SR 129 just south of SR 48. Information from the investigation so far has revealed Christina Foster, 38, Sunman, was in the roadway when Scottie Taulbee, 54, Dillsboro, was northbound driving a 1993 Toyota passenger car when he struck her. The Ripley County Coroner pronounced Foster dead at the scene.

SR 129 between SR 350 and SR 48 was closed for approximately 3 hours while investigators worked the scene.  It is unknown at this time why Foster was near the middle of a heavily traveled highway at that time in the morning.  The driver has not been cited in the crash at this time.
Deputy Kendall Hankins is the investigating officer, and being assisted by Sheriff Tom Grills.  Deputy Hankins and Sheriff Grills were assisted at the scene by Delaware Fire, Ripley County Medics, Rescue 10, Ripley County Coroner, Batesville PD, and the Indiana State Police.  The crash is still under investigation at this time by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office. If you have any information regarding this investigation, you are urged to contact RCSO at 812.689.5558.

(August 10, 2012) Several arrests have been made in an extensive drug investigation.

Beginning on May 19, 2012, deputies with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, and Milan Police Department, discovered an active Methamphetamine lab in a camper on State Road 101 between Sunman and Milan, IN. The Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Team was contacted to dispose of the harmful ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Information obtained throughout the investigation has led investigators with the Sheriff’s Office to several other subjects involved in the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine.


Subjects arrested throughout this investigation are as follows:


- Hacker Gress, age 34 of Sunman, Indiana


- Caleb Shannon, Age 21 of North Vernon, Indiana


- Aaron Norman Jr., Age 33 of Milan, Indiana


Charges against these individuals range from Manufacturing Methamphetamine to Dealing in Methamphetamine.

This case is still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.  All defendants involved are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Sheriff Tom Grills requests if you suspect or have information on drug activity, or any criminal activity, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 812.689.5558, 812.689.5555, or email at or your local police agency.

A cooperative investigation between the Dearborn County and Ripley County Sheriff’s Offices into the report of a possible impaired driver results in a heroin arrest.

On Monday evening, August 6th, 2012 at approximately 10:22 PM, deputies from both Dearborn County and Ripley County responded to a report of a possible impaired driver, traveling west on US 50 near Dillsboro towards Ripley County.

As a result of the investigation, 22-year-old Chad M. Sumler, of Versailles, was located near US 50 and the intersection of SR 101, operating a green 1994 Chevrolet Blazer and pursuant to investigation was discovered to be operating motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, and believed to be in possession of a controlled substance less then 3 grams.

Sumler was arrested at the scene, and transported to the Ripley County Jail where he was incarcerated, pending bond of $2050.00, for Possession of a Controlled Substance Class D Felony.  On Tuesday, August 8, Sumler was charged in the incident by the prosecutor’s department.  The incident is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was assisted by the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Office and the Milan Police Department.  Sheriff Tom Grills noted, "The only we are going to work towards keeping our communities safer is to have complete support from citizens in reporting these types of behaviors and suspicious activity, including testimony. When agencies continue to work together, along with citizens, good things will happen. I commend my officers, as well as the Dearborn County Sheriff's Office, for their efforts and dedication to stop drug activity." If anyone has information on criminal activity, you are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 812.689.5558, 812.689.5555, or their local police agency. You can remain anonymous.

The Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Tuesday, July 24, 2012 Ripley County Communications received a report of a single vehicle accident with injuries located at the intersection of County Road 250 South and County Road 300 West, Versailles. The initial investigation showed the 2000 Ford Expedition had been traveling eastbound on County Road 250 South and had came over a hill at a high rate of speed, and nose dived into the pavement on the other side, then veered off the roadway through a fence into a pasture. The vehicle then rolled once before striking a wooden shed. The vehicle rolled again going thru the fence again before coming to rest on an embankment. The driver, identified as 18 year-old Ethan Lawburgh of Holton, told investigating officers that he was traveling at approximately 60 mph coming over a hill and lost control of the vehicle. Lawburgh who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash was ejected from the vehicle.  Lawburgh’s passenger 20 year-old Megan Moore of Versailles was wearing her seat belt and was not ejected from the vehicle.  Moore was flown by PHI 5 to UC Medical Center for treatment of a broken collar bone and other non life threatening injuries she sustained in the crash.  Lawburgh who was complaining of chest and shoulder pain was flown by Air-Care to UC Medical Center to be treated for his injuries he sustained in the accident. Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Sullivan is investigating the crash. Ripley County Deputy AJ Smith, Holton Town Marshal Bob Curl, Ripley County Medics, Versailles fire and Versailles truck 61, Rescue 30 and Kings Daughter Medic and Ambulance, assisted him at the scene. Nothing further at this time, and occupant's current injury status is not available at this time. You can get patient update info at UC's media center, 513-503-3368.

On June 19, 2012, at approximately 9:27pm, a report of two vehicles involved in a crash near 14468 North Rosfeld Road, Sunman, came into Ripley County Communications. When authorities arrived on scene they found a green Mercury Mystic driven by a female juvenile, and a white Chevrolet Van occupied by eight individuals had collided head-on.

The driver of the Mercury was partially trapped inside the vehicle. Six of the passengers and the driver of the van had exited the vehicle and were laying next to the roadway with various injuries. One female remained inside the van unable to exit due to her injuries.

All nine of the individuals involved in the two-vehicle crash were injured as a result of the collision. One male and two female passengers from the van were airlifted from the scene, and the driver of the passenger car was also airlifted. Three other female passengers from the van were taken by ambulance to Margaret Mary Hospital. The remaining passengers, one male and one female, were treated and released at the scene.  During the initial investigation the driver of the van was traveling south on Rosfeld Road when for unknown reasons traveled left of center, and collided head-on with the northbound passenger car.  Due to the number of injuries several EMS, Fire, Paramedics, and Police units responded.  Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted by: Indiana State Police, Sunman Police, Sunman Fire & First Responders, Sunman Rescue 20, Batesville Rescue 10, and Ripley County Paramedics. In addition to local responders, three Stat Flight Helicopters, and one UC Helicopter were called to assist with transportation of victims. At the time of the crash, it appeared that both speed and driver error were contributing factors in the crash. Evidence left from both vehicles suggests none of the occupants of either vehicle appeared to be wearing seat belts.  This accident remains under investigation at this time by Deputy Kendall Hankins. 

Updated Information--Gregorio Hernanadez (driver of the van) 31, of Richmond, IN and passengers: Wanda Cruz Hernanadez 30, Deborah Julian-Santiago 32, Josfa Martinez 31, Brenda Garcia 28, Marribel Caballero 29, Maria Cruz 27, and Jesus Martinez 24 all from Richmond, IN sustained injuries as a result of the collision. G. Hernanadez, W. Hernanadez, and W. Cruz were airlifted from the scene, and taken to University Hospital in Cincinnati. Following her transport to Margaret Mary Hospital, D. Julian-Santiago was later also taken by air to University Hospital. The driver and single occupant of the passenger car, a juvenile female from Brookville, IN was airlifted from the scene as well and taken to University Hospital.  Injury status is unknown at this time and will be available when UC contacts the Sheriff’s Office to advise.

Sheriff Tom Grills is excited to announce the graduation of Kendall Hankins and Aaron Smith, Jr. from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Both Hankins and Smith graduated in April and have returned to full duty status after the 16-week intensive training program.

Hankins, a South Ripley native, became a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office in 2010 and hired full time in September 2011.  Smith left the Indiana Gaming Commission in late 2011 and hired as a full time deputy, but was a reserve for the Sheriff’s Office in 2007 and 2008.  On Tuesday, May 8, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Merit Board met at a regular public meeting to interview applicants for an open deputy position. After interviewing three applicants, the Merit Board unanimously approved Ryan McKittrick as the newest Deputy. Ryan, a native of Milan, was selected as the new member of the Agency. McKittrick is not new to the Sheriff’s Office either as he was a reserve deputy for the Sheriff’s Office in 2009 and 2010, before accepting a position with the Vevay Police Dept. He graduated the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 2011 and is ready to return to Ripley County to serve the citizens therein.  All three deputies were hired to fill vacancies in the office stemming from retirement, to a deputy leaving the sheriff’s office for better pay/ benefits, and a new deputy position established for fiscal year 2012.  Sheriff Grills noted, “ It is great to see young and upcoming officers who have energy and enthusiasm to be professional and help those in need, while protecting our community the best we can. I look forward to helping these guys start their careers and becoming valued law enforcement officers of our community.”

Early on Saturday morning, May 19, a report came into Ripley County Communications of a single vehicle crash on Hopewell Road just east of Dabney.  Deputy Steve Sullivan arrived on scene around 230am to find Bradley Snapp, 23, of Holton, was ejected and lying beside a Chevrolet HHR that was fully engulfed in fire.  Deputy Sullivan pulled Snapp further away from the wreckage sustaining minor burns to his arm.  Snapp’s vehicle, for reasons unknown, left the roadway while traveling west and struck a tree head on, subsequently catching fire.  Snapp was flown to UC via Stat Flight for injuries sustained in the crash.  Deputy Sullivan was taken to Margaret Mary Hospital and treated/ released for first degree burns.   Snapp’s current condition is unknown.  Speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors to the crash.   

Sullivan was also assisted at the scene by Adam Hunger, Osgood PD, Deputy Kendall Hankins of the Sheriff’s Office, Holton Fire Department, Versailles Fire Truck 61, Rescue 69 and 30, and the Ripley County Paramedics.  The crash remains under investigation.

At approximately 11:22 pm, May 1, Ripley County Communications received a report of a semi tractor-trailer crash located near the intersection of State Road 129 and US 421 in Versailles, near the State Police Post. When officers from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene, they found a semi tractor-trailer hauling a coil of steel had ran off the roadway coming to rest in a drainage ditch between the Rolling Pin Bakery and Paul Hardy Insurance building.  The initial investigation showed the driver, identified as 53 year-old Michael A. Margis of Portage, Indiana, was operating the 2004 Freightliner semi heading southbound on US 421, when for reasons unknown, ran off the east side of the roadway striking the Rolling Pin Bakery sign and then into a deep ditch causing the coil of steel to break loose crashing into the back of the semi cab.  The driver, Margis, was lying on the ground beside the semi. Margis stated to officers that he passed out while driving the semi. Margis stated to officers he was having chest pains and was having a hard time breathing. Margis was transported by Rescue 30 to Margaret Mary Hospital, where he was then flown to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  Deputy Sullivan, who is investigating the crash, was also assisted at the scene by Sheriff's Deputies Lt. Holt, Deputy Hankins and Deputy Smith and Versailles Fire. The crash is still being investigated.

MAR 24Indianapolis, IN This spring, the Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.   On Saturday, April 28th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, DEA and its partners will hold their fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.  Last October, Americans turned in over 188.5 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 5,327 sites operated by more than 3,945 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners.  This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high--more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting , clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database, where they enter their zip code. Law enforcement agencies interested in operating one or more collection sites on April 28 can register with the DEA by calling the DEA Field Division office in their area. (To see each division office’s geographic area of responsibility, go to and click on the “office locations” link under “About Us” in the menu on the left side of the home page.)  The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office will be open all day from 8am– 4pm to collect medications.  NO SHARPS PLEASE

“What can be accomplished when multiple agencies work together for the good of the public.”

During the early morning hours of Monday March 26, 2012, officers from Batesville Police Department, Indiana State Police, and Deputies from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office obtained and served a search warrant in Batesville.  The initial search warrant obtained by the Indiana State Police, was served on a second floor apartment in a building on Walnut Street in Batesville. According to Detective Abraham Hildebrand of the Sheriff’s Office, information was obtained from the occupants of the apartment, which led to the issuance of a search warrant for the third floor apartment of the same building.  According to Detective Hildebrand, a substantial amount of marijuana and paraphernalia was located during the execution of the second warrant on the third floor.  Two subjects were incarcerated due to the drug activity that morning:

Mark A. Carroll, Age 34 of Batesville Indiana

Brian W. Bradley, Age 51 of Batesville Indiana

These cases are still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, and Batesville Police Department.  All parties involved in these cases are innocent until proven guilty.

In the early morning hours of Friday, March 23, 2012, deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to a concerned citizen complaint near Bob’s Service Station, in Osgood.    When the officers arrived in the area, they learned that a burglary had occurred there.    Officers located Brandon Eldridge, 18; Milan, in the area and upon further investigation, Eldridge was arrested for burglary and theft, and taken to the Ripley County Jail.  Stolen property was located and recovered in the incident.  Deputy Steve Sullivan is the investigating officer. Reserve Sgt Dale Holbert and Sgt Corky Houseworth assisted Sullivan.  Sheriff Grills commented, “My officers are doing a fine job.  I am also happy that a concerned citizen witnessed the activity and called the Sheriff’s Office.  Even though it was an anonymous call, it led to the arrest of a suspect. I want to remind everyone that with the launch of the new tip line for the county, do not replace that with the calling the Sheriff’s Office or the State Police in an emergency.  Our communication phones are monitored 24/7. If this person would have called the tip line, this case may have not been solved.”  The tip line, 1-855-812-DRUG (3784), is for non-emergency complaints and should be used accordingly.   The Sheriff’s Office utilizes Ripley County Communications after hours at 812.689.5555 and the Indiana State Police is 812.689.5000.  You can call these numbers as well and remain anonymous, as callers have been doing for years.  Eldridge is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

At about 0930hrs on March 15, 2012, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office responded to a personal injury crash on SR 46 in Morris.  Evidence and witness information suggests that Neil Bower, 29 of Sunman, was operating a 1985 Dodge pickup eastbound behind Adam Hanson, 33 of Holton, driving a 2007 Chevrolet Aveo.   Bowers reported he was distracted by an animal in the vehicle, and did not notice that Hanson was slowing to turn into Retzner Oil Co.   Bowers rear-ended Hanson after attempting to avoid the collision.  Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, which minimized injuries, however Hanson was transported to MMCH for neck pain, and Bowers was transported to MMCH because of a knee laceration and complaint of pain.   Rescue 10 transported both Hanson and Bowers.  Deputy Sgt Corky Houseworth is the investigating officer, and was assisted at the scene Deputy Jason Dickerson, R-10, Morris Fire, Batesville Fire, and Ripley County Paramedic.  Other officers from the Indiana State Police and Batesville PD were at the scene as well.  The crash is still under investigation.

Napoleon residents can rest a little easier after three juveniles from the Napoleon area have been detained and are in custody in connection with a burglary at Boehner’s market, and multiple thefts and criminal mischief’s in the town of Napoleon.   A stolen handgun was recovered and confiscated, along with other items taken from throughout the town.   The juveniles were located and detained March 2.  Sgt Corky Houseworth and Major David Pippin are investigating the complaints that began several months ago.  “This has been a large investigation with multiple victims, and we still do not have them all,” Sheriff Tom Grills noted.

As the investigation continues, the sheriff is urging potential victims to call the Sheriff’s Office to report incidents that occurred, and if any residents reported incidents to other law enforcement agencies to please notify the Sheriff’s Office as well so nothing is missed.  Sheriff Grills also wants residents to remain vigilant and observe for any suspicious activity in neighborhoods and to report crimes even if someone feels there is nothing that can be done. “ People know that we may not be able to do much, but a few clues can make or break a case.   We are all in this together to make our community a better place to live.”  If anyone has additional information, they are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 812-689-5558 or 812-689-5555.

February 29, 2012 at approximately 8:00 AM, Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of a three-vehicle traffic crash on US 50 West Park Hill just outside of Versailles. Emergency services personnel responded to the scene. Corporal Rob Bradley is the investigating Officer and was assisted by Sergeant Corky Houseworth of the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and Dan Goris of the Versailles Police Department.   Additional Responder’s included: Truck 61, Car 60 of Versailles Fire, Rescue 69 and Rescue 30. Involved in crash are; 56 y.o. Barry A Beverly of Cross Plains, 57 y.o. Alice Reaves of Dillsboro, and 63 y.o. William Robertson of Moores Hill.  Statements from all drivers concur that Beverly was traveling east on US 50 and Reaves and Robertson were westbound. The accident occurred during a period of heavy rain.  The accident appears to have been caused when Beverly’s vehicle hydroplaned and crossed into opposing traffic. The tires on Beverly’s vehicle were that of no discernible tread.  This is believed to be a contributing factor in the accident.  Both Reaves and Beverly were transported to MMCH Batesville.  Robertson refused transport at scene of accident.  Motorists are reminded to check their vehicle’s tires and other equipment periodically for serviceability.  As a result of the crash US 50 was shut down to single lane traffic until cleanup was complete. The accident is still under investigation by Corporal Rob Bradley of the Ripley County Sheriff Office.

02/06/2012 Theron W. Hunter, 44, Osgood, a registered sex offender, was arrested last Wednesday on charges of Failing to Register.  Hunter had moved away from his residence that he had on file with the Sheriff’s Office and did not report it.  Cpl Rob Bradley received a report from a concerned citizen, and the investigation ensued, with charges being filed.  There are 51 active registered sex offenders in the county and another roughly 14 incarcerated in other facilities.  The Sheriff stated, “ With so many sex offenders in the county it is hard to keep up on all of them.    This is where we rely on the citizens to help keep an eye out.    Citizens can go to, powered by Watch Systems, to sign up for alerts and seek valuable information to keep our community safe.  Hunter is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Richard L Clements, Jr, 45, Nicholasville, KY, aka the “Calendar Guy”, arrived at the Ripley County Jail on Tuesday, January 31 to answer to theft charges.

Clements had been soliciting local businesses for donations in years past to complete an office calendar for the Sheriff’s Office.   However, after some issues with the calendar in 2010, Sheriff Grills did not renew the contract to have the calendar created.

Clements was reportedly soliciting area businesses in the summer of 2011 to complete a calendar without a contract.  The Sheriff was noticed and an investigation began into the illegal activity around August.  In November charges were sent to the Prosecutor for review, and in December of 2011 a warrant was issued for Clements.  Clements was arrested in Switzerland County on unrelated charges in late November, but was just recently extradited back to the Ripley County Jail.  Clements is also facing similar charges in a couple counties in the State of Kentucky.  Sheriff Grills stated, “ I appreciate all the support the community gives in monetary donations to the Sheriff’s Office.  I would advise anyone wanting to donate to any community program, or to the Sheriff’s Office, to please call and check the validity of the program if there is any doubt.”  If you are victim of this case, and you have not reported it to the Sheriff’s Office, you can contact the Office for further information.  Clements is innocent until proven guilty, and will be extradited back tot Kentucky after finishing his case here.

McIntosh sentenced in death of Versailles man

 Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills, left, along with Randy Thieman (behind sheriff) and Bill McDonald, jail employees, escort Jeremiah McIntosh from the courthouse Monday morning after he was sentenced on a Voluntary Manslaughter charge.
On Thursday January 12, at approximately 10:27 pm Ripley County Communications received a report of a single vehicle accident involving a semi tractor-trailer just east of Cave Hill road on US 50.  When officers arrived on scene, they found the driver, 50 year-old Francisco Estrada, of Tiffin, Ohio still in the cab of his semi tractor that had rolled onto its side. The trailer he was pulling broke loose from the tractor and flipped up side down releasing its load of steel coils.  The trailer came to rest blocking both lanes of US 50. The two coils of steel went into the ditch on the north side of the roadway.   Estrada told the investigating officer that he was going westbound coming around a curve at about 45 mph when he ran off the north side of the roadway and into the ditch. Estrada complained of soreness in his hip and chest, but was checked out by Rescue 69 personnel and released from the scene.


News Prior to 2012


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