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Police charge man with murder of Toni Dickison, two other victims

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tanette "Toni" Dickison

Murder victim

Early this morning, Kevin L. Hampton, 43, of Terre Haute, was charged with the murders of former Brazil resident Tanette "Toni" Dickison, 18, Cassie Harris, 48, of Terre Haute, and the murder of 18-year old Diana Lehman, of Terre Haute, in 2000.

A joint team consisting of Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton, Indiana State Police Trooper Jared Nicosin and Detective Tony Guinn immediately began investigating the murder once Dickison's body was discovered floating in a private pond on the south side of CR 600 N on Nov. 30, 2004. No murder weapon or sign of a struggle was found at the scene.

An autopsy report from Vigo County Coroner Dr. Roland Kohr indicated that there was no indication of drugs or alcohol as contributing factors to Dickison's death.

During the Dickison investigation, Cassie Harris' family reported the woman missing and Terre Haute Police Detective Starla Neidigh was assigned to investigate her disappearance.

The discovery on Feb. 10, 2005, of 48-year-old Cassie M. Harris' partially decomposed body in a creek near a plant owned by Novelis in Vigo County. Kohr's autopsy report showed that Harris had died two months prior to being discovered.

The cause of death was not released to the public in either the Dickison or the Harris case in an effort to preserve the integrity of the investigations, but officials did say that the victims knew each other.

This led to the involvement of the Terre Haute Police Department and the Vigo County Sheriff's Department in the Dickison case when the link was discovered between the two women.

"They knew each other, how well we don't know," Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts told The Brazil Times in February. "They ran in some of the same circles. They knew some of the same people."

Now the Dickison and Harris cases have been connected to the murder of 18-year old Diana Lehman, of Terre Haute, in May of 2000.

Lehman was found murdered in her home at 2240 Tippecanoe St. in Terre Haute on May 19. A preliminary autopsy report at the time revealed that Lehman was strangled to death around 3 a.m.

According to family reports published in The Tribune Star at the time, the young woman had recently moved out of her parents home to start a new life with her 18-month-old son and had only lived at the home on Tippecanoe St. for two or three months at the time of her murder.

Investigators at the time would not release the names of suspects or any further details case.

Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger and Chief Deputy Chip Allen will participate in the prosecution of Hampton for the deaths of Dickison and Harris.

Hampton will be arraigned this afternoon around 1:30 p.m. in the Vigo Superior Court Division 3 in Terre Haute. At that time the formal charge will be read to him and further court proceedings will be scheduled.

If convicted of all charges, Hampton faces a total of 235 years imprisionment.

"This investigation will continue, we're not done collecting evidence," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "There is a lot more to do to complete this process over the next few months."

Officials are urging the public with any information concerning these crimes that has not already been disclosed to contact law enforcement.

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