Arrest made in Clay County cold case

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Officials met with various family members and media outlets Wednesday at the Clay County Justice Center to announce an arrest had been made in a 20-year-old Clay County cold case.

During the news conference, special prosecutors David Powell and Del Brewer said John Lovett, 37, Brazil, was arrested Wednesday morning at a county residence and charged with two counts of murder.

A Grand Jury concluded its efforts recently regarding the murders of Tonya Pickett, 16, and her stepfather Ricky Mustard, 32, on Nov. 20, 1988.

"A lot of work. A tireless effort on their behalf," Powell said of the grand jury investigation. "We thank (the jury) for its work."

Joining Powell and Brewer at the press conference Wednesday were Indiana State Police Detectives Alan McElroy and Troy Stanton, ISP Sgt. Joe Watts and Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton.

Powell said Lovett was charged with two counts of murder and was arraigned in Clay County Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

A trial date of 9 a.m., Aug. 4, 2008, has been scheduled.

Officials confirmed Lovett, then 18, was Pickett's boyfriend at the time of the murders.

"We believe the evidence would show that this was not a professional hit," Powell said.

"We knew there had been a lot of rumors for a lot of years," Brewer added. "That needed to be cleaned up too."

Brewer added the Grand Jury returned a non-indictment against Glenn Selsam, whom the original investigation had centered around.

Lovett was arrested in a subdivision north of Brazil off State Road 59. Both Powell and Brewer said 1988 statutes apply to the case.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m., Nov. 20, 1988, Mustard and Pickett were discovered inside their home, 110 W. Pinckley St., Brazil, from apparent gunshot wounds to their heads.

On Wednesday, Powell said he would not comment on whether a weapon had been recovered but confirmed both died from shotgun blasts to the head and deer slugs had been used.


Jason Moon is managing editor of the Brazil Times, sister newspaper of the the BannerGraphic.

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  • Thanks for not giving up on this, officers. Clay County and Brazil are such good places to live.

    My prayers go out to the Pickett, Mustard and Lovett families.

    Imagine being married to a man, having children by him, then having this happen. Poor Mrs. Lovett :(

    -- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 9:17 AM
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