In a ruling filed in Clay Circuit Court on Thursday, a charge against Roger Lindsay of corrupt business influence was dismissed by Special Judge Matthew Headley, but Lindsay still faces two misdemeanor charges stemming from the Indiana State Police Cold Case Investigative Team's probe into an unsolved double homicide.
While holding the rank of captain with the Brazil City Police Department, Lindsay was assigned to investigate the murders of Tonya Pickett, 16, and her stepfather Ricky Mustard, 32, in their Brazil home on Nov. 18, 1988.
Accused of creating false information that wrongly implicated individuals of the murders, investigators claimed Lindsay hampered both the original investigators' case and the ISP Cold Case Investigative Team's investigation of the unsolved crime for more than 17 years. At no time during either investigation has Lindsay been considered involved in the murders by investigators.
Lindsay was charged by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office with one felony count of corrupt business influence (RICO) and two misdemeanor counts of false reporting. He was indicted by the Clay County Grand Jury on Dec. 9, 2004.
Reluctant to make any statements regarding the case at that time, Lindsay's attorney spoke on his behalf.
"It is unclear why these particular charges have been levied against Mr. Lindsay," Attorney Scott E. Racop told The Brazil Times in January. "Being charged while innocent is a difficult situation for Mr. Lindsay and his family."
In reply to the defendant's motion to dismiss the charges, Judge Headley wrote in the Court Order that the main issue was whether or not the statute of limitations had expired for the felony charge of corrupt business influence.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws, passed by Congress in 1970, are applied to organizations or persons who knowingly or intentionally participate in corrupt business
practices or influence and have derived proceeds from a pattern of racketeering activity.
Headley agreed with the state's assertion that the RICO laws apply to Lindsay's actions, but his "pattern of
racketeering activity" did not comply.
The RICO statute states that a pattern occurs only if one of incidents occur within five years of the prior incident of racketeering. Since Lindsay is accused of inappropriate activity in 1993-94 and then again when he returned to Indiana to assist with the cold case investigation in 2002, the second alleged incident is well outside the five-year requirement of the law.
Headley then ruled that the state could proceed with its counts of false informing and set a pre-trial
conference for Jan. 6.
With his client maintaining his innocence, attorney Scott E. Racop told The Brazil Times Monday morning in a telephone interview that they are hopeful the two remaining charges will be dismissed as well and are declining comment.
Roger Lindsay, who was working as a federal law enforcement officer before being charged, is awaiting further case developments at his home in Tamarac, Fla.