Crime update: Where 2023 cases from Monroe, surrounding counties, stand

A man shot in a tent in Greene County, an Indiana University student stabbed on the bus, and accusations of rape: These are some of the crimes The Herald-Times reported on in 2023.

Here is a review of where the investigations and, in the case of an arrest, the court cases stand.

Stabbing allegation called hate crime

It's been more than a year since Bloomington resident Billie R. Davis was charged with using a pocketknife to stab a Chinese-American Indiana University student seven times in the head on a city bus.

The student injured in the Jan. 11, 2023 attack, a freshman from Carmel, was treated in the emergency room and not admitted to the hospital.

Davis, now 57, was initially charged by the Monroe County prosecutor with attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery with a deadly weapon.

The latest: Competency hearing set for woman charged with hate crime in IU student bus stabbing

But those charges were dismissed last April after federal authorities charged Davis with a hate crime that could keep her in prison for life. Davis reportedly told police she stabbed the student because she was Asian.

Indiana is one of four states without a hate crimes law. So, if a criminal offense is suspected to be based in prejudice or hate, the FBI can investigate and pursue federal charges.

During a Jan. 31 hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Davis is currently taking proper medication and is mentally competent for her trial, which is scheduled to begin April 12 if a plea agreement isn't reached before then.

Davis is being held in federal custody at the Knox County Jail.

Smithville homeowner shot on Fairfax Road

A Smithville homeowner was shot by people he found tampering with his truck outside his residence on Fairfax Road. On Jan. 23, Gary K. Robertson was arrested on initial charges of possession of methamphetamine and resisting law enforcement.

Robertson was jailed most of 2023 before bonding out by posting 10% of his $15,000 bail plus $1,000 cash. A public defender was appointed to represent him, and a March 25 jury trial is scheduled.

On Jan. 30, Edward E. Deckard was arrested in relation to the case and charged with attempted murder, robbery and criminal recklessness. He's been incarcerated nearly a year since his February 2023 arrest, held on a $50,000 surety and $500 cash bond. Deckard is being represented by a public defender, and a 4-day jury trial is scheduled to begin April 22.

Preschool teacher charged with terrorism

Maggie June Gates was among 23 people handcuffed, detained and arrested March 5 at the South River Music Festival in the Weelaunee Forest near Atlanta, a public space about a mile from the location of a proposed police training center.

Plans for the controversial training facility are on track. During an Atlanta City Council meeting this month, members heard an update that included news of a $19 million increase in the price for security, insurance and litigation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Gates, now 26, spent a month in jail before being released on pre-trial supervision. She is charged with violating Georgia’s RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. Her case is pending in Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Court.

Woman backing out of North Maple Street driveway shot several times

Police say they continue investigating a shooting incident in April that left a woman injured. Leads have been followed up, but no suspects have been identified, police said.

On April 13, a 45-year-old Bloomington woman was shot several times while she was backing out of her driveway on North Maple Street.

"She said that an unknown person wearing a face covering exited the vehicle and began shooting at her vehicle before speeding off in an unknown direction," a Bloomington Police Department news release said..

Former IU football player charged with rape

Two women accused former Indiana University football player Connor Delp of rape and, on May 8, he was charged with two counts of rape, sexual battery and battery.

Three months later, his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the rape charges “as void for vagueness and thus constitutionally defective.” They argued the law charging Delp was not specific enough to define the allegations against him.

The prosecution countered that Indiana’s rape statute is clear, and the probable cause affidavit filed in the case outlines in detail what Delp is accused of doing. “A person of common intelligence would not be forced to guess at what Delp’s alleged acts were,” the prosecution’s response reads.

Monroe Circuit Judge Valeri Haughton heard arguments from both sides on Oct. 30 and took the dismissal request under advisement.

Suspect arrested in shooting remains in jail

On June 17, 47-year-old Quentin R. Farmer Sr. of Bloomington was charged with shooting a 34-year-old man in 2600 block of South Madison Street multiple times.

Farmer was initially charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and criminal recklessness, but the prosecutor’s office filed just the firearm charge.

The next court hearing in the case is scheduled March 27. Farmer has been jailed since his arrest on a $10,500 bond.

More crime news: Police say Bloomington woman supplied fentanyl that killed Orange County Jail cellmate

Bedford man charged in connection to Capitol riot

William Lance Wilkerson
William Lance Wilkerson

It took two years for federal authorities to charge William Lance Wilkerson with participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, invasion of the U.S. Capitol building. He was arrested at a residence in Mitchell on June 8, 2023.

Wilkerson faced four misdemeanor counts of unlawful entry. He admitted to a Herald-Times reporter in June that he was present that day, repeating some of the fallacies that drove many people to attack the Capitol.

In August, he pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building; a plea agreement dismissed the other three charges. The week before Thanksgiving, a federal judge sentenced Wilkerson to two years on probation and ordered he pay $500 restitution.

Not guilty verdict in Subway store shooting

Sean M. Rivers, 22, was arrested July 15, accused of shooting a 51-year-old man in the chest outside the North Kinser Pike Subway store.

At the end of a two-day trial in December, jurors deliberated two hours before finding Rivers, who had spent five months in jail, not guilty of attempted murder.

If convicted, he faced 20 to 40 years in prison.

Rivers, an employee of Subway at the time of the shooting, reportedly got into an altercation with the victim over the illegal parking of his truck.

Verdict: Jurors say Bloomington man not guilty in shooting at northside Subway restaurant

How did Monroe County man shot in Greene County die?

A man police were looking for in relation to a shooting on July 19 died by a bullet, but who shot him? Indiana State Police opened an investigation to determine whether the man, whose name wasn't released, died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound or a round fired by a Greene County sheriff's deputy.

Police say the dead man was being sought in connection with a shooting of a 31-year-old woman at Eagle Pointe. She was shot in the leg and did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw said he has received the state police final report on the shooting and is reviewing it before making a final determination as to what happened that day.

"Due to the sheer number of body cams involved with all of the officers originally at the scene to serve the warrant and then those who arrived due to shots being fired, I have not completed it yet," Holtsclaw said in response to an inquiry about the case.

Bloomington man charged with rape

Shubham Bipin Kumar, 28, faced two counts of rape: One alleges the victim was unaware of his actions and the other that she was mentally disabled or deficient.

The two met at a downtown bar Aug. 5, and both told the detective they were intoxicated.

Kuman bonded out of jail the day after his arrest. A pretrial hearing in the case was scheduled for Feb. 19.

Knife-wielding man chases women down Kirkwood

Indianapolis resident Karsten Harshbarger was arrested in August after two 20-year-old women reported he pointed a knife at them in downtown Bloomington.

Police soon located the suspect on the Indiana University campus and arrested him.

Harshbarger, 22, faces two felony charges of intimidation with a deadly weapon and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

After court-ordered evaluations, Monroe Circuit Judge Christine Talley Haseman ruled in November that Harshbarger was not mentally competent to stand trial.

That changed last month, when the judge got word that Harshbarger’s mental state had improved. She released him from jail to the custody of his parents on Jan. 11 and set the next court hearing in the case for Feb. 26.

Woman accused of displaying handgun at bus stop

On Aug. 25, children waiting for the school bus at Limestone Crossing reported that Taleah Joe Vaught had brandished a handgun in front of them.

Police say it resulted from an ongoing verbal dispute between two Tri-North Middle School students that had escalated to threats of physical harm.

Vaught was charged with felony intimidation and released from jail without having to post bond. The next hearing in the case is Feb. 28.

Mitchell woman accused of killing her toddlers

A 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl were found dead inside a Mitchell home in late September.

Their mother, 33-year-old Brittany Medina, allegedly told police she had drowned them in the bathtub. She said voices in her head had told her “she needed to send her children to heaven today or there will be someone come and take her two children and her and place them in a dark hole.”

Medina is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

Court records indicate mental health competency evaluations were ordered in November. During a Dec. 14 hearing, Lawrence Superior Court Judge John Plummer III said no further hearing will be scheduled until Medina’s mental status is determined.

Bedford man shot, killed after police chase

In September, Daymon A. Hubbard died from gunshot wounds after a police chase in which three Bedford police officers fired their weapons.

Almost four months later, Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II said he determined the officers’ actions were justified “in the preservation of life.”

Arp said when officers tried to pin Hubbard’s vehicle in using their patrol vehicles, Hubbard placed his vehicle in reverse, striking a police car. Hubbard then turned and accelerated forward toward an officer who was on foot. In a statement, Arp said that's when the officers shot Hubbard and his vehicle.

My Sister's Closet burglarized

Local charitable thrift store My Sister's Closet was burglarized in October, reporting thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and merchandise had been taken. Police arrested transient man Michael W. Johnson on four felonies: burglary, fraud on a financial institution, theft and possession of methamphetamine.

On Feb. 5, a judicial order released Johnson from the Monroe County Jail and sent him to Amethyst House for substance abuse treatment.

Man accused of masturbating while supervising children

In October, Joshua M. Moore, 35, was charged with a felony count of performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor and a misdemeanor count of public indecency.

Police say Moore was masturbating in the presence of autistic children he was supervising. Moore claimed his behavior was driven by his addiction to pornography and said no children were touched.

Moore said he didn't think the non-verbal boys he was in charge of were aware of what he was doing, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Monroe Circuit Court.

Moore worked from July 2022 until August 2023 as a licensed behavioral therapist at Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center in Bloomington.

He oversaw boys aged 4 to 8, most of them non-verbal, sometimes working with them one-on-one with behavior therapies.

Moore was scheduled for a court hearing on Feb. 19.

Man charged with providing drugs that killed Bedford woman

Erika Dawn Asbury died three hours after buying $40 worth of a fentanyl-laced drug from a man at Crawford Apartments in Bloomington.

A man who had been living at Crawford Apartments is accused of selling a fentanyl-laced drug to a Bedford woman that ended up killing her.
A man who had been living at Crawford Apartments is accused of selling a fentanyl-laced drug to a Bedford woman that ended up killing her.

The 39-year-old woman's boyfriend found her lifeless on the floor of the house they shared in Bedford at 1:03 a.m. on May 25.

Police arrested 35-year-old Arron Jacob Drew Reynolds of Bloomington on Sept. 13 on a charge of dealing a controlled substance resulting in death.

Overdose: Bloomington man charged with providing drug that killed 39-year-old woman

Reynolds, jailed without bond, requested a speedy trial, and Lawrence Superior Court Judge Robert Cline has scheduled a five-day trial to begin March 18.

Rescued while trying to swim away

Police say Matthew Fischman tried to get away by jumping in Lake Lemon in October, but he was arrested after police tossed him a floatation device when he began to struggle.

Fischman, 37, of Unionville, was arrested on preliminary felony charges of battery by means of a deadly weapon (his vehicle) and two counts of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle. He also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement, driving while suspended, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.

According to a news release, Fischman's vehicle hit and damaged three sheriff's department cars as he tried to flee. A fourth police car was damaged when it struck a deer during the pursuit.

He is being held at the Monroe County Jail; the next hearing in the case is Feb. 29.

Parents accused of allowing child access to guns

The parents of a 16-year-old Bloomington youth face a charge of dangerous control of a child after being accused of allowing their son access to loaded guns.

Their November arrests came after an investigation during which police determined the teen, who was on house detention and probation for participating in an armed robbery, carried a loaded rifle out of his house.

During a search of a home in the 2100 block of South Rockport Road, investigators reported finding two loaded handguns in a bedroom and a semi-automatic rifle on the front porch that also was loaded and ready to fire.

Gregory Cordell Baker Sr. and Olinida K. Allen were both arrested on one count of dangerous control of a child.

Baker and Allen were released from jail on their own recognizance on Oct. 30; a Feb. 26 trial date is on the docket in both cases.

Man faces murder charge for Unionville shooting

Sheriff's deputies called to a Nov. 4 disturbance at a Unionville home discovered a gruesome scene.

Bryce Leighton was outside, hysterical, blood on his hands and clothes. As they approached the garage, they saw 48-year-old Tara Langley lying on the floor. There was blood everywhere.

Leighton stands charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend of the past seven years. The 34-year-old man told a detective the two had been arguing and he may have shot Langley in self-defense when she fired a stun gun at him.

His lawyer has filed a motion saying he will claim Leighton, being held in jail without bond, acted in self defense.

The final pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for March 21 and the trial is scheduled for April 1.

Man with history of court interactions accused of Dunn Woods attack

Brian Silas Jones II, 24, listed in court records as transient, was booked into the Monroe County Jail in November on preliminary charges of attempted rape, sexual battery, battery with injury, criminal confinement and trespass.

Jones was accused of tackling a 20-year-old Indiana University student to the ground the evening of Nov. 10, lying on top of her and attempting an assault.

Bystanders in the area intervened to help the woman and called police when they witnessed the attack in Dunn's Woods.

A psychiatric evaluation was ordered by the court, and in January, Monroe Circuit Judge Valeri Haughton determined Jones was not mentally competent.

Stinesville man sought for shooting neighbor

Police continue looking for Bret Sherrow in connection with the November shooting of his 59-year-old neighbor. The victim showed up at IU Health Bloomington Hospital with a gunshot wound to his buttock and said Sherrow had shot him.

"The victim saw the suspect pull a gun out and then place it in his pocket," a Monroe County Sheriff's Office news release said. The man who was shot said he retrieved pepper spray from his pocket when Sherrow shoved him "and tried to spray the suspect but it didn’t work."

The victim said Sherrow was fumbling in his pocket for the gun, so he took off running, heard a gun fire, then realized he had been hit.

Contact H-T reporter Laura Lane at or 812-318-5967.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Bloomington, Bedford, Monroe County criminal cases from 2023