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Breaking News: Prosecutor files charges against Cody Wright

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office filed two formal charges against Cody D. Wright, 18, Brazil, for his involvement in the fatal traffic accident at the Clay/Putnam County line where Brandee N. Siples, 17, Brazil, died.

According to the charging information provided to The Brazil Times by Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter's office, Wright was charged in Putnam Circuit Court early Monday morning with resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness resulting in death, both class B felonies.

The probable cause affidavit in the case also released other details about the accident.

Around 10:40 a.m. Nov. 17, Wright was "clocked" at 117 mph in a posted 45 mph speed zone near Putnamville and then further west on United States 40 at 129 mph near the Clay/Putnam County line by Indiana State Police Master Troopers Bill Partridge and Dave Furnas.

Partridge spotted Wright in the Putnamville area and radioed Furnas, who was farther west on US 40, about the speeding vehicle. It was Furnas' vehicle that was narrowly missed when Wright came up from behind and passed the officer. Furnas witnessed Wright lock-up the brakes of the Camaro in order to negotiate the turn onto the Clay/Putnam County line.

Traveling south on County Road 500 East (CR 900 West in Putnam County) at speeds approximately 85-90 mph on the numerous rolling hills of the two-lane blacktop road, Wright lost control of his vehicle when he topped a small hill just south of CR 875 S., and went off the east side of the road. The vehicle went up an embankment, became airborne, spun clockwise until it faced east for a distance of approximately 45 feet which placed the passenger side of the vehicle in a position to strike a tree, causing massive damage before the vehicle fell into a 20-foot ravine.

An autopsy performed by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Roland M. Kohr at Terre Haute Regional Hospital determined that Siples died from massive craniolcerebral trauma.

Wright was released from Indianapolis Wishard Hospital on Nov. 18 and was interviewed by ISP detectives at his home on Nov. 19.

Wright was able to remember driving his Camaro to Greencastle to pick up an employment application, going to a hardware store, his cell phone's screensaver of him doing a burnout in his Camaro while on a country road and his date of birth. However, when questioned about speeding, running from the police or the accident, Wright said he was unable to remember anything about the incident.

Bookwalter told The Brazil Times that cases like this are always a tragedy, but drivers are charged for bad driving decisions that lead to the death of another person, although they might not have intended for anyone get hurt.

"Teenagers driving reckless are every parents worst nightmare. When a young life is extinguished, all their hopes and dreams are gone. It is a serious matter when a reckless driver is involved in an accident that takes the life of another human being," he said. "I take these types of cases very serious."

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As cruel as it may seem, they had to do this. Such a senseless and preventable death cannot go unpunished.

-- Posted by Bruther on Mon, Nov 26, 2007, at 1:30 PM

I don't find these charges 'cruel'. What's cruel is knowingly (and willingly) endangering the life of another. What's cruel is the Siples family spending every holiday/birthday/milestone without their daughter/sister/grandchild.

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Nov 27, 2007, at 10:42 AM

If this is so necessary, where was the punishment for Wesley Coffey for doing the exact same thing back in 2005? If he got off scotch free so should Cody. He already has to live with the fact that the love of his life died in his care. When Wesley was in his accident, two people were killed. Daniel Batchelor and Brianna Wilkerson. Neither of which were as close to him as Brandee was to Cody. If one man can walk free for something so much worse, why should Cody have to pay more than he already has?

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Tue, Nov 27, 2007, at 10:45 AM

The difference between this and the other case is that Cody ran from the Police, he also was driving way too fast and someone lost their life. If memory serves me right Wesley pulled out in front of someone. I don't think that he was speeding or running from the cops.

-- Posted by beautiful978 on Tue, Nov 27, 2007, at 1:52 PM

It is so easy to compare apple with apples... Daniel and Brianna were killed in a car accident and Brandee was killed in a car accident. Aside from all the students being from Northview that is really where the similiarites end. In 1993, my sister in law and friend Theresa was murdered and the person who raped her and took her life was supposed to serve a 55 year sentence for that crime but won't due to "good time". I can take how this crime affected our family and compare it to every murder case since then but it gets maddening to see people who have taken the lives of others get more time for a similiar crime. I don't believe Cody or Wesley for that matter intended to kill the people in their vehicles. Each case is handled as it is presented with the causitive factors taken into consideration. I unfortunately do not remember why Wesley did not serve time but he as well as Cody will have to live in their own prisons for these accidents that have taken the lives of their friends. Their conscience will be their prisons. We can only pray for the families and be as supportive as they will allow us and pray for the young men who survived.

-- Posted by PrimitiveLady on Tue, Nov 27, 2007, at 2:06 PM

Yes Wesley was speeding. You don't know the difference because you didn't personally know them. Seeing as how BOTH cases here personally affect me, I can see how they BOTH are very similar. Wesley was indeed speeding, that's how he thought he could make it down and across the street before anyone else. The cost, two lives. Yes Cody was speeding, the cost, the love of his life is gone. Yes I do agree he should be charged with resisting law enforcement. However, I do not agree with being charged with criminal recklessness. If he is, so should Wesley. Two guys speeding. Two guys wrecked. Both ended in fatalities. You tell me where the justice lies?

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Wed, Nov 28, 2007, at 1:19 PM

I don't know anything about the Wesley story............why wasn't he charged?

-- Posted by Bruther on Wed, Nov 28, 2007, at 3:08 PM

My point exactly Bruther, there was no reason. He just wasn't charged. They aren't enforcing their "laws" on everyone. It might have helped that his dad was a corrections officer. I don't know on that one. All I know is, the double-standard laws in our community has got to stop. How can we as people believe in our government when they pick and chose when to enforce laws and when to ignore them?

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 7:04 AM

Should Cody be charged? yes. Should Wesley have been charged? Yes. Here's where the difference lies. Cody is being charged by Putnam County. Wesley was in Clay. Same state, different counties, different prosecutors.

I will say this. While it is the loss of lives in both instances... Cody is by far worse. Upwards of 130MPH is a heck of a lot more reckless than 10 or 15 miles over the speedlimit.

-- Posted by mhicks on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 3:24 PM

I agree. Big difference between a few miles over and fleeing from law enforcement. Both ended in tradegy. All families and friends mourn the loss

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Dec 4, 2007, at 9:52 AM

What everyone is failing to do is look at the real facts, was he speeding? Yes. Was he doing 130 when he wrecked? NO. Proof is in our own paper.

"Traveling south on County Road 500 East (CR 900 West in Putnam County), he was clocked at speeds of approximately 85-90 mph. Wright then lost control of his vehicle on a small hill south of CR 875 S. The vehicle went up an embankment and became airborne before striking a tree."

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that state law says that on COUNTY ROADS, the road he turned on the speed limit is 55. That is only 30 mph over people. Yes it is fast, but not the horrible 90 mph over that you all make it out to be. Was it when he was in the 45 mph zone? Yes it was high. But he slowed down the way he saw fit. He adjusted his speed for safety reasons, yes it did fail, but he did try. Our paper also states this:

"It has been documented that several of Siples' family members have said they did not want Wright charged.

McGlone, however, said he believed the families' desire to not press charges should have been considered."

If even a putnam county lawyer agrees with the families wishes, shouldn't we atleast try to respect them? Even if we don't agree with them, give them some respect.

"I wish that the state had respected the wishes of the victim's family," McGlone said. "I think they've suffered enough."

THAT is the truth.

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 7:18 AM

ISUstudent - I respect Brandee's parents wishes not to want Cody prosecuted... but its out of their hands. I may not agree with their wishes, but I do respect them. His negligence, no matter what the speed, resulted in a death. In the eyes of the law, that is a crime, and while much of the time, the law doesn't make alot of sense to most of it, on this? I think they've got the right to do as they see fit. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm being judgemental, and ignorant in my way of thinking, but I've seen far too many kids killed because of actions such as these, and it's about time that they make the attempt to do something about it. They've got to do something to show todays kids "this is what can happen". Maybe losing a friend/loved one was enough for some, but for so many, it's not.

-- Posted by mhicks on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 10:50 AM

ISU Student... were you in the car?

-- Posted by madmom61 on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 11:44 AM

Was I in the car hollyann? No. Do I personally know a patroller that seen the whole thing? Yes. Funny though, if you read, you'll realize a lot of "facts" are being added to the story now that weren't there before. Here in our justice system I always thought it was innocent until proven guilty. How can we uphold that system when so many judge before even hearing the whole story, both sides to it. You ask me if I was in the car. The answer is no. Fact remains: neither were you. Let's hear his side for a change.

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 10:07 AM

I never said I was in the car. You seem to be judging people and at the same time asking people not to judge others.

The reason I asked if you were in the car is because you have so many "facts" to share with others. Cody doesn't remember the facts... or so he tells the police so I was just wondering if you were in the car since you seem to have the facts!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 1:22 PM

One more comment and then I am done with this. If you know a "patroller" that was involved in this accident, why is he or she sharing that information with you? I do not think that is very professional. I hope if my family or friends are involved in an accident like this, that the officers working the case do not share the information with others so they can talk about it on newspaper posting sites.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 1:36 PM

Well, just to clear it up for you hollyann, yes the patroller has shared the information with other authorities. Our newspaper has yet to file the report, but I will tell you anyways. Due to that information, the prosecutor is looking at dropping the charges to two class A misdemeanors. Like I said, the "facts" around here that are being shared, aren't real facts. Now you all know. Cody did mess up, but two class A misdemeanors fits the crime a lot better than two class B felonies.

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Fri, Dec 7, 2007, at 1:10 PM

unoit, tell me this, do you know Brandee's family? No. Do you know Cody? No. You can't grasp the way I think because I'm on the inside of all of this pain. You are a mere bystander with the rest of the town that talks out of heresay and personal judgement that doesn't matter. Your opinion is your opinion. But, you didn't know either of them. You can't say what their past suggests, because you don't know their pasts. Just because you know what ONE screensaver is, that means he is a habitual traffic offender? Well hell, a lot of people are in trouble then aren't they. Here is the bottom line, and after this, I'm through with dealing with this. None of you other than Morgan_x knows what is really going on. Will cody have more cars and girlfriends, I don't know, he's a little depressed and close to having a mental breakdown. Give it time and he'll be suicidal. All of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Tearing down a young boy because he made one mistake. Yes,it was a mistake with a terrible cost, but are you paying for that cost? No.He is. I am. Morgan_x is. Cody's family is. And Brandee's family is. As far as I'm concerned, I'm through defending him for all of you. Anyone that has a judgement of a person before they even meet the person, is awful. Someone that makes a judgement on local rumors is even worse. They always say you can't change an old horse's way. I guess that's very true for a lot of people. For the rest of you, don't make a judgement yet. If you really want to see justice done, if you believe in the law like you claim you do, then follow it in this sense: the law states that he is innocent until proven guilty. Then treat him with kindness and respect. He's not a convict, he's not a cold blooded killer. He's a kid. He's human. Unoit, you think you know everything, when in reality, you know nothing of what is going on. You are not part of this, and will never know the true meaning for all of us as to what it means. So instead of cutting down the ones that love and care for the both of those families, support us in our decision. That doesn't mean agree with it, it just means respect it and let it go. We are the ones involved. You are not. We know everything that goes on in the slightest, you do not. Further more, respect is something that you have been lacking. You should respect the families of these two. You have shown great disrespect to Brandee's family alone by degrading and criticizing Morgan_x and myself. And you have disrespected Cody's family by disrespecting me as well. Show some respect, and let these families take care of this. If you really feel the need to be involved, or to be "all knowing" then listen to his side of it. Case closed, topic dropped.

-- Posted by ISUstudent on Tue, Dec 11, 2007, at 8:33 AM

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