Two sentenced in connection with June assault

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two Greencastle men were sentenced in Putnam County Circuit Court Thursday for their roles in a June assault that severely injured another man.

Cody McNew, 20, and Adam Roche, 19, both were convicted of Class C felony battery resulting in bodily injury in connection with the beating of John Sanders, 26, of Greencastle. The assault took place outside Topper's bar in Greencastle on June 5.

Two other men were charged with Class C felony battery along with McNew and Roche in connection with the attack on Sanders.

Jeremy Musall, 24, was sentenced on Dec. 8 to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years executed, one year on home detention and three years on probation.

Jared L. Hornaday, 19, pled guilty to Class C felony battery on Thursday. His sentencing was set for March 19.

A fifth defendant, an unnamed juvenile, was also involved, court records said.

McNew was sentenced to five years with two years executed in the Indiana Department of Corrections and the remainder spent on probation.

Roche was sentenced to seven years with two years executed in the Indiana Department of Corrections and the remainder spent on probation.

Before his sentencing, Putnam County Probation Officer Kim Thibodeau pointed out that McNew's criminal history dated back to when he was a juvenile. McNew's brushes with the law have included possession of marijuana and driving while suspended charges, as well as probation violations.

Thibodeau said mitigating factors in McNew's case included his age and the fact he had cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation.

McNew also currently has two charges pending against him in Putnam County Superior Court -- unlawful possession or use of a legend drug and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, which were filed on July 17.

McNew said in court Thursday that the June 5 altercation was initiated by Sanders.

McNew said he had never met Sanders before the fight took place. In court, he said he was at the bar to get some money that was owed to him, and that McNew came outside and "started talking about how he beats his old lady and stuff."

McNew has said he grabbed Sanders and threw him to the ground after Musall struck Sanders in the face with his elbow and fist. McNew also admitted to kicking Sanders in the back two or three times.

Putnam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Don VanDerMoere asked McNew if his "decision to batter Sanders" was voluntary, and McNew said it was.

"You could have left and none of this would have happened," Van DerMoere said. "You made a voluntary choice."

Boggess agreed, but said his client made brave choices after the fact.

"The state has made much of the fact that (McNew) made a bad choice in taking part in this battery," Boggess said. "He could have exercised his right to say nothing, but he didn't do that."

Headley said regardless of what transpired on the night of June 5, he had a hard time putting any blame on Sanders.

"Whether he was running his mouth or not, he didn't deserve this," Headley said.

During his time on probation, McNew must establish paternity for his toddler daughter, get his general equivalency diploma, complete 32 hours of community service and pay all fines and costs associated with the case. He will receive credit for the 168 days he has spent in jail.

Roche admitted to kicking Sanders once in the chest after Sanders was already on the ground. He said he was under the influence of alcohol when the fight happened.

"So you elected to kick (Sanders) after he was disarmed and on the ground?" Van DerMoere asked.

Roche said he "wouldn't say (Sanders) was disarmed."

Roche was already on parole for a burglary offense when he was arrested for his part in the attack on Sanders.

"My parole officer told me that if I sat here through Dec. 22 he wouldn't file a violation on me and he'd mark me as completed," Roche said Thursday.

Before Headley handed down Roche's sentence, Roche read a statement to the court. He said he had "realized some things" during the time he had been incarcerated, and that he was "ready to put all these things behind me."

Roche said he wanted to find a job and complete his GED.

"I know this is the last chance I have," he said.

Headley was not convinced of Roche's sincerity, pointing out that Roche had been in and out of Putnam County courts as a juvenile and as an adult.

"You have decided to break the law since I've been doing this job," he said. "It just continues on and on and on. We've done everything we could to try to rehabilitate you."

Roche will receive credit for the 172 days he has spent in jail.

Van DerMoere said no restitution was being sought by the state because Sanders had failed to produce any documentation of medical expenses connected with the attack.

In a separate case, Roche also pled guilty to a charge of Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. In exchange for that plea, charges of Class A misdemeanor dealing in marijuana and a possession of paraphernalia infraction were dismissed.

For that charge, Roche was sentenced to one year in the Putnam County Jail with three months executed, to run consecutively with his DOC sentence.

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  • I'm glad the others involved in this case are finally being sentenced. I was really getting upset that only one was sentenced so far. It is amazing how no one EVER mentions that mr. sanders had a knife though. Wonder why? Because Jeremy Musall was the only one ever blamed at the time.

    -- Posted by redhead42 on Sat, Feb 21, 2009, at 9:27 AM
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