Not-guilty plea for Harvey

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Russell Harvey II

A former Greencastle man has entered a not-guilty plea to charges related to the 2020 death of a Greencastle 18-year-old.

Having been transported to Putnam County following his arrest in Lake County, Russell Harvey II, 24, Gary, appeared in Putnam Superior Court before Judge Denny Bridges on Monday.

Harvey pled not guilty to charges of Level 3 felony aggravated battery posing a substantial risk of death, Level 5 felony involuntary manslaughter and Class A misdemeanor false informing.

The charges stem from the June 19, 2020 shooting death of Hailey Whitis of Greencastle.

Police were dispatched to a residence on Kentwood Drive in Greencastle the night of the shooting, finding Whitis already deceased from a gunshot wound to the chest.

According to court records, Harvey told investigators Whitis had been playing with his rifle and at some point had loaded it and shot herself.

Based on the autopsy and forensic testing, investigators do not believe this to have been the case.

Bridges set Harvey’s bond at $50,000, cash only, and appointed Jim Hanner as his public defender.

A pre-trial conference was set for May 4 in Putnam Superior Court.

A Level 3 felony carries a sentencing range of 3-16 years, a Level 5 carries 1-6 years, while a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in prison.

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