Greencastle man convicted in fatal stabbing of dad will get out 2.5 years early

Monday, February 5, 2024
Thomas Badgley

A 32-year-old Greencastle man, already denied a previous sentence modification and appeal of his voluntary manslaughter conviction in the Sept. 12, 2012 fatal stabbing of his father, will now be released 2.5 years earlier than expected after filing for post-conviction relief.

Thomas W. Badgley, who was just 21 when he stabbed his 53-year-old father, Tommie Dale Badgley, to death, had filed for post-conviction relief attempting to set aside the guilty verdict in the case. By serving an additional 20 years, he would likely be 52 upon his release.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter told the Banner Graphic that Badgley’s motion was motivated by his assertion he was not read his rights at the time of sentencing.

In 2014, Putnam Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges sentenced Badgley to 40 years in the Indiana Department of Correction with 35 years executed and five years suspended for voluntary manslaughter by means of a deadly weapon.

Badgley is currently housed at the Branchville Correctional Facility in Perry County.

Originally charged with murder, Badgley reached a December 2013 plea agreement for voluntary manslaughter, a Class A felony that carried a sentencing range of 20-50 years.

On Feb. 2, an agreement was made with the state public defender to release Badgley after he serves 30 years of his sentence, a choice Bookwalter said was made “versus coming back for a new trial.” That would have been compounded by the fact Badgley’s mother, Debbie, who was present during the fatal stabbing, has since passed away, Bookwalter noted.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Austin Malayer handled the state’s case in the latest matter.

When Badgley was denied sentence modification nearly a year ago, in March 2023, Bookwalter noted that as a “violent criminal,” Badgley needed to petition the court within 365 days of the date of sentencing (March 11, 2014) for modification without the consent of the prosecutor. After 365 days, the defendant cannot petition for sentence modification without the prosecutor’s consent.

With Badgley being well beyond that time period, the state did not consent to any modification at that time.

Additionally, Bookwalter had noted that Badgley “alleged he is remorseful for his actions” but in a petition for post-conviction relief, the defendant claimed “it was the misadventure of Mr. Badgley’s father that was the sole cause of a tragic accident.”

The fatal incident occurred in the kitchen of the younger man’s 906 S. Crown St. residence in Greencastle’s South End after an altercation over his parents’ efforts to take him to the hospital to deal with his drug issues. Court records indicate Thomas Badgley pulled a kitchen knife from a drawer, lunged at his father and ended up killing him with a single stab wound that perforated his heart.

In denying Badgley’s 2014 appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that:

-- The father was disabled and unarmed.

-- The father was present in the home to help the defendant.

-- The defendant has a minor but frequent history of violence.

-- The defendant had the opportunity to leave the kitchen and de-escalate the situation but did not.

-- The defendant was on a pre-trial diversion at the time of the offense.

-- The defendant had showed no remorse until sentencing.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, based on information supplied to the Banner Graphic, indicated Badgley would be getting out 10 years early instead of 2.5.

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  • Totally unbelievable. He really deserved the death penalty, so he should consider himself lucky. He says he feels "remorse" over his actions. This really means he is sorry he got caught. What a cruel, lowlife scumbag.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Mon, Feb 5, 2024, at 8:44 PM
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