Indiana State Trooper Todd Brown arrested Donald P. Denehie, 42, and Kimberly D. Howard, 45, after an investigation determined they were involved in an accident near Howesville Farm Supply, 1390 West State Road 246, Clay City, the night of Jan. 23.
According to an unidentified witness at the scene that night, the vehicle driven by Denehie was traveling westbound on SR 246 just east of County Road 175 West, when it left the north edge of the roadway, collided with a mailbox and culvert before rolling over on its top and coming to rest in a ditch.
The witness helped the female out of the crashed vehicle and tried to put her inside their vehicle, but the smell of ammonia was too strong. The female then ran away from the scene.
During the investigation, Brown identified Howard as the passenger in the vehicle. Howard volunteered a statement, identifying Denehie as the driver. She said that he had become scared by an approaching vehicle while stealing anhydrous ammonia and attempted to get away without being caught by shutting off the vehicle's headlights.
Howard suffered minor cuts to her forehead and chemical burns to her arms and legs from the anhydrous ammonia spilling during the accident.
Denehie appeared via videoconference before Clay Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers on formal charges of theft, illegal possession of anhydrous ammonia, failure to return to the scene of an accident and possession of paraphernalia.
Upon review of the case and a criminal background check, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office added the additional charge of habitual substance offender to Denehie's charging information.
Bond was set at $25,000 with no 10 percent, and Akers scheduled a jury trial date for June 2 at 1:30 p.m. According to Clay County Justice Center officials, Denehie remains incarcerated at the jail. Geoffrey Creason was court appointed as his public defender.
Howard appeared in custody before Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout on formal charges of maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia.
Bond was set at $7,000 with 10 percent, and Trout scheduled a jury trial date for June 16. According to Clay County Justice Center officials, Howard posted bond on Feb. 7.
Howard did not qualify for a public defender and will need to seek her own counsel.