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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Officials 'optimistic' about process

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tonya Pickett
Ricky Mustard
Officials involved in the latest cold case investigation of the 20-year-old double homicide of Tonya Pickett, 16, and her stepfather Ricky Mustard, 32, at their Brazil residence on Nov. 18, 1988; are optimistic about the upcoming Grand Jury process.

"We are going to give the Grand Jury everything we have," Special Prosecutor David Powell said during a press conference at the Clay County Justice Center Thursday morning. "We believe this case can be solved, or we wouldn't be doing this."

Powell and Delbert Brewer will present 20 years worth of evidence collected during three separate investigations to the six jurors and two alternates to be selected by Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout on Feb. 20.

Officials involved in the cold case investigation of the 1988 double homicide of Tonya Pickett and her stepfather, Ricky Mustard, discussed preparations involved in convening the Grand Jury at the Clay County Justice Center Thursday. Included in the investigation are (from left)?Indiana State Police Investigator Alan McElroy, ISP?Det. Sgt. Troy Stanton, Special Prosecutors David Powell and Delbert Brewer, ISP?Sgt. Joe Watts and Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton.
With a potential of calling up to 230 witnesses before the Grand Jury, Powell said he expects the process to be completed within three weeks.

"You could fill an entire wall with all the binders of information gathered during the investigation of this case. Imagine how many missed diamonds of information in there that could have been overlooked over the years, we took a fresh look at that information," Powell said. "It's our job to review this information and present it to the Grand Jury so they can take a fresh look at it and see if we can solve this case."

Powell explained convening a Grand Jury would enhance the investigative process in the case and help develop even more evidence.

"When a police officer interviews a witness, they are not under oath to tell the truth, but as a witness to the Grand Jury, they are compelled to tell the truth by penalty of perjury," he said.

A brief summary of the crime was provided to the media at the press conference.

On Friday, Nov. 19, 1988, Cheryl Mustard arrived home from work shortly before 1:30 a.m., to find her husband Ricky, who was recuperating from a motorcycle accident in July, dead from at least one gunshot wound to the head. She then found her daughter Tonya lying on the kitchen floor, also dead from at least one gunshot wound to the head.

Officials believe an unknown assailant(s) entered the home at 110 W. Pinckley Street, and used a shotgun to kill Pickett and Mustard. A three-inch Magnum 12-gauge shell was located at the scene, which is consistent with the wounds on the victim.

"The murder weapon has never been recovered over the years," Powell said, adding that investigators are still looking for leads on the whereabouts of the weapon. "Many have been tested over the years and ruled out. If anyone has information about the weapon, please contact authorities."

Powell said officials would not release the name(s) of the target(s) of the Grand Jury because of the secretive nature of the process, but did confirm there was potentially more than one.

"That's not set in stone because we are continuing to work this case on a daily basis," he said about the investigation that continues to develop new information as early as Wednesday. "It would be inappropriate to second guess the prior investigations. The Grand Jury will tell us whether we have solved it."

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I will pray that for the families sake, a person is found accountable for these crimes

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 12:26 PM

I really hope they find out what happened and who did it even after all this time. :(

-- Posted by petmonster on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 8:36 PM

There has to be somebody out there who really knows what happened to these two people. Twenty years is long enough to allow this or these murderer(s) to live in our community. If somebody knows about this crime, protect the community and yourself, and please come forward.

-- Posted by snow on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 11:16 PM

Maybe the Grand Jury will look into the Murder of Mark Simonson to coverup the tracks of this murderer. It wasn't an accident you know!!!


-- Posted by brendad on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 12:57 AM

Yes Brenda i agree with you They need to look into Simonson death again, It wasnt no accident. He knew who killed Pickett and Mustard. and they were afraid he was gonna talk. There were to much talk at the time for them to rule it as a accident so fast.

I fell there was alot of covering up and miss placing of evidents. I have said that for 20 yrs now. Just if they would reopen Marks death they would have another unsolved case.

-- Posted by pepsilady on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 10:38 PM

Too bad in the Simonson case a person was already convicted for reckless homicide and was sentenced to, if I remember right, five years in prison which amounts to two and a half years with good time if he was able to behave in prison. Two and a half years for taking somebody's life. I believe they said that the killing was an "accident"; regardless the person who did the shooting can't be charged for murder even if he now admitted he did it on purpose. Sometimes there seems to be no justice.

-- Posted by snow on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 11:12 PM

Can you re-open a case that has already had someone sentenced???

-- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 12:21 PM

madmom, no one has been sentenced. No one has done anything, at all. Imagine him being your only son.

-- Posted by Ricks Nephew on Sat, Aug 2, 2008, at 6:46 PM

Pray for the guilty madmom, not the innocent. For they are the ones whom must pay the piper.

-- Posted by Ricks Nephew on Sat, Aug 2, 2008, at 6:49 PM

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