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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Area man receives sentence

Thursday, June 12, 2008

GREENCASTLE -- After taking 10 pages of notes during court proceedings Thursday, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Mathew Headley told the crowded courtroom, "When you get out on probation, you will write a letter every week to your probation officer talking about the impact this situation has on your life so that you will never forget the memory of Brandee Siples."

Continuing, Headley sentenced Cody Wright, 19, Brazil, to 14 years, seven to be served in an Indiana Department of Corrections facility and seven years of probation, for his guilty plea on a class B felony charge of resisting law enforcement resulting in death.

Headley also revoked Wright's driving license for 14 years.

On May 15, Wright pled guilty for his role in a high-speed police pursuit that resulted in the death of his girlfriend, Brandee Siples, Nov. 17, 2007.

New details about the accident were released during the sentencing proceedings, including:

* A recording of the radio traffic at the Indiana State Police post near Putnamville was played in court helped determine, from the beginning to the resulting accident, it spanned 10 miles in four-minutes.

* Indiana State Police Master Trooper Dave Furnas testified that ISP police cruisers are limited to a maximum speed of 130 mph before the engine shuts off. Wright's white 1992 Chevrolet Camaro was clocked by a radar system at 129 mph when it passed Furnas' cruiser traveling westbound on United States 40.

* A pick-up truck was almost hit before Wright's vehicle left the road, went airborne, rotating in the air several times while smashing trees and finally came to rest at the bottom of a ravine.

* Two people walking down the road were witnesses to the accident.

* Furnas, who was first on the scene, testified Wright, who was conscious, grabbed for the steering wheel in an attempt to continue driving after the wreck.

* Robert Blystone, a friend who sold the Camaro to Wright, testified he had been with Wright at a separate incident in which he evaded police. He also said Wright modified the car with a "toggle switch" that bypassed the vehicle's computer which monitored and would shut off the engine if the speed reached in excess of 110 mph.

* According to a pre-sentencing investigation report, Wright had received 10 traffic tickets in 23 months, five of which were deferred. Of the remaining tickets on Wright's driving record, three were for speeding violations, one for a non-specified violation and one for not having his registration with his vehicle, and

* Wright is an insulin dependant diabetic who requires constant monitoring for his health.

Defense Attorney Edward McGlone wanted the court to see Wright as a softhearted kid that is a future asset to the community and it would have tragic results if he were sent to prison. Six character witnesses testified Wright was dependable, respectful and caring and that he was a hard worker and willing to learn.

"I trusted Cody with my daughter's life. You can see where that got me," Brandee's father Terry Siples said. "Brandee didn't deserve any of this. Now, I go to the cemetery, sit there and bawl. If I'd have know about all those tickets, I'd have never let her go with him."

As Headley announced the sentence, the crowded courtroom was filled with the sounds of family members from both sides sobbing.

"I want to say I'm sorry to the Siples family," Wright said to the judge. "I never intended to hurt their daughter. I only wanted to love her."

After Wright was remanded into the custody of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, the Siples family spoke with The Brazil Times.

"Brandee was definitely here today," Pam Siples, Brandee's mother, said. "This isn't going to bring her back, but justice was done for Brandee today."

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One family lost a child and now another family is losing a child. It breaks my heart. My thoughts are with you all.

-- Posted by Shev13 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 7:51 PM

It is a very sad situation for both families, but Mr. Wright showed no "love" for Miss Siples when he tried to run from the police. He put innocent people in danger by his actions. He made his bed, now he has to sleep in it.

-- Posted by th1953 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 8:54 PM

Just where is the Wright family losing a child,hes going to prison he isnt deceased

he will still have a chance at life...hers is over personally I think he should have gotten more time,I loved a fast car when I was younger

but I never endangered others

-- Posted by dovelw on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 11:36 PM

I was one of the people in that packed court room yesterday! Let me tell you I know both families but, Brandee did get some justice. Cody will have to figure out over the next 7 years why he didn't just pull over. Then the next 7 years in writing a letter each week, Brandee will always be in his thoughts even as he tries to go on. Well, how do you think Pam, Terry,Brett and the rest of the people that Brandee was a part of feels each and every day? I hope eash and EVERY teenager in that court room learned a valueable lesson, I know mine did. Their was a lot to take in yesterday, one thing we know is that Cody is a hard worker with a big heart, well Brandee was a beautiful young lady who was a hard worker with a big heart also! To the Wright's, I feel sorry for the stares and points but be greatful that one day you will be able to hug Cody and look him in the face, watch him get married, have children, and get his dream job, will the Siples? RIP Brandee Nicole! We all love you!

-- Posted by Becki on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 6:09 AM

I am not understanding why this not got to keep driving and why some of his tickets were deferred. I thought you lost your driving rights after a certain amount of tickets were issued.

I feeel like "the system" failed him all the way around. He got by with speeding, and murder. This is very sad for ewveryone.

My prayers are with all that have been through this horrible event.

I hope others have learned and do not think they will get the same luxuries he has been given!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 9:04 AM

had a few typos there sorry

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 9:04 AM

I agree with madmom61!!!

You would have thought that he would have lost his license a long time ago!

A life was taken as we all know, and in time Cody will get his back. Although that may not seem fair to others, I do feel justice was served!

I hope this is a lesson well learned!

My prayers go out to both of the families!

-- Posted by mywords1 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 9:28 AM

My heart goes out to both families as well but Cody's sentence does not fit the crime! If I were his parent, I would have been embarrassed by the plea agreement offered. How can any of the Wright's look at the Siples family and not be ashamed? If Cody had this "big heart" everyone is speaking of, he would not have jeopardized the life of anyone, especially his beloved girlfriend. In my opinion, Cody knows nothing of "love". He is a selfish individual, who only thought of himself.

Fourteen years is a slap on the wrist. He should never be allowed to hold a drivers license in this state or any other! Why weren't different charges brought against him? Vehicular manslaughter? Something with a harsher sentence! Again, I cannot believe this plea agreement was even accepted.

Justice has NOT been served. IF the judicial system was harder on criminals maybe our crime rates would drop! And for the correctional officier saying prison isn't the place for Cody, well the grave ISN'T the place for Brandee either!

-- Posted by opinion on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 9:56 AM

Nice opions! I was wondering if Cody will be given special treatment in prison too. I am guesing his diabetic condition will allow for that! I agree that justice has not been served!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 10:18 AM

I think he got a pretty bad sentence,true maybe he deserved a lot more. I live on the Clay/Putnam County Line,of course I was shocked to hear about the accident. I didn't know Brandee nor Cody,at all. I go to South Putnam,and that was all anyone was talking about during the entire week after it happened! My heart,thoughts and prayers go out to Brandee and her family!! GOD BLESS!!

-- Posted by Army_girl17 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 1:51 PM

cody's got a big heart alright, so big he just couldnt help but have a girlfriend shortly after brandee died!!!!!Brandee may have loved cody but he didnt love her!!!... I dont believe he got what he deserved and my heart breaks for her family and all who loved her. i knew her for a short time but i will never forget her or her smile....TO Pam, Terry and Brett my thoughts and prayers are with you always!!!

-- Posted by livs_mommy on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 1:04 AM

What most people don't realize is that Cody will only actually do 3 1/2 years, if he behaves. He will not do the full 7 years. In Indiana it is 2 for one. Time credit 2 days for every one with good behavior.

Maybe, if he had been made to suffer the consequences of his actions when he was younger, he would not be suffering the consequences now. Too bad, but I too want my family to be safe from his driving habits. Just because he his driving PRIVILEDGE has been revoked for 14 years, does not mean that he won't get behind the wheel and drive again before the 14 years is up. With his propensity to ignore the law before, why should we believe he will obey the laws now? God bless you Terry, Pam, & Brett, (and my friend, Gramdpa Tom).

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 5:51 PM

To Conservative Dad:

I believe he was actually sentenced to 14 years. In Indiana with good time credit and credit for time already served, he probably will have to do the full seven. That is still a pretty light punishment given all of the details. I also think the state is probably somewhat at fault, too, for continuing to let Cody drive after he repeatedly proved that he couldn't drive responsibly.

-- Posted by BrazilBillie on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 10:44 AM

I do not see this as the states fault. I see it as his fault for driving. If he was rational, and they have not declared him impaired, then HE is responsible for driving. Who paid all of his tickets and his insurance?? They would be responsible as well

-- Posted by sassypants on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 12:06 PM

I never said that I thought the state was totally at fault--only somewhat. I understand that HE is responsible for his driving but driving is a privelege, not a right. I think 10 tickets in a 23-month period is well-deserving of a suspended license. How many tickets does it take for the state to step in and say, 'Hmm, this guy obviously doesn't drive responsibly so maybe we should suspend his driving priveleges'. I may be wrong, but I thought a ticket was only 'deferable' if there were no other tickets within like a three-year period. And I agree with you, Sassy, that whomever else may have paid his tickets, bought his insurance, etc., should also feel responsible for what ultimately could have been a preventable death.

-- Posted by BrazilBillie on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 3:34 PM

You can defer 1 ticket per county, so if the ones he defered were in different counties that would make sense. You have to go 1 year after you have defered a ticket in one county before you can defer another in that county.

-- Posted by piper08 on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 8:38 PM

Most of you think you know all about what happened, but here, let me tell you the rest.

Before the accident, Brandee and Cody were in love. Whoever the "other girlfriend" is never was. They were making plans of getting married due to Brandee not having much time left due to her medical condition and wanting to spend the time she had left with each other. They were never hardly apart accept for working.

The day of the accident Brandee was talking to her mom on her cell in the vehicle minutes before the accident. She was making funeral arrangements. It's not known if they planned the accident so Brandee wouldn't be alone and hooked up to machines when she died or for the both of them to be together- forever. I'm not saying Cody is a saint or should go unpunished for his act of rebelling, but there was more of this story than what most people have heard. "Judge as you will be judged."

-- Posted by auty on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 9:48 PM

Most of you think you know all about what happened, but here, let me tell you the rest.

Before the accident, Brandee and Cody were in love. Whoever the "other girlfriend" is never was. They were making plans of getting married due to Brandee not having much time left due to her medical condition and wanting to spend the time she had left with each other. They were never hardly apart accept for working.

The day of the accident Brandee was talking to her mom on her cell in the vehicle minutes before the accident. She was making funeral arrangements. It's not known if they planned the accident so Brandee wouldn't be alone and hooked up to machines when she died or for the both of them to be together- forever. I'm not saying Cody is a saint or should go unpunished for his act of rebelling, but there was more of this story than what most people have heard. "Judge as you will be judged."

-- Posted by auty on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 9:48 PM

Since he had a job and worked and paid for his own vehicles i'm gonna venture to say that he paid for his own tickets.

-- Posted by loudnclear on Tue, Jun 17, 2008, at 8:19 AM

There has been some discussion in reference to this article as well in the general public as to what Wright's sentence actually means. I checked the information the court published and from what I can tell, here is how the sentence actually breaks down. Wright was sentenced to 14 years, seven of which were suspended and will be served on probation, two of the years of probation will be served on house arrest. So basically if he behaves, he will have to do a total of 3 years in jail/prison and two years of house arrest (no good time for house arrest). If Wright gets in trouble while on probation he can be made to do the additional seven years in jail/prison. Wright also looses his driving privileges for 14 years.

All in all this sounds like a very light sentence for snuffing out a young life and putting so many other lives in jeopardy. Sadly, I think a sentence like this is pretty typical of what people receive for crimes like this. I remember back in 1990 when a Mr. Glasscock received a sentence of something like eight years for a drunk driving accident in which he killed two people. If Wright had broken into the Siples' home and stole their television he would have probably gotten more time than for killing their daughter.

Every person who decides to drive like a maniac, run from the police, or drive drunk takes the liberty of putting all of our lives in jeopardy. I think the courts need to start taking these crimes more seriously, and not wait until one of these people kill somebody to take some type of "strong" action.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 11:10 PM

Well said Unsolicited opinion.

I think the laws need revisited on driving violations and time served for running from police and causing death.

I think many things helped Cody end up where he is and bring upon the great loss to the Siples family.

Cody of course shoulders the bulk of the responsibility,he chose to do what he did from the minute he received his license. I also blame the adults in his life for not taking the car from him, he proved he was not ready to be responsible. I also blame the State for not having laws that would of taken his license before this terrible event and after. The fact he was still driving after the wreck makes no sense at all and angers me a great deal.

It would be good if laws could be changed in Brandee's name. There was no sane reason Cody was legally driving the day she died.

-- Posted by localgal on Thu, Jun 19, 2008, at 9:33 AM


He has to serve 7 years of the 14! Not 3 1/2

Read the article again, or ask someone who really knows him!

-- Posted by mywords1 on Fri, Jun 20, 2008, at 10:18 AM


You are correct, I don't know Cody, just what his driving history was and the final outcome of it.

Most of the focus on my comment was that he should of lost his license way before this happened. Then we would not even be talking about prison time and the burden he has to carry about causing someones death. Wouldn't that have been better?

I do beleive the State should of revoked his license. He just was not mature enough to drive responsilby. If you get a ticket I belive you should not be able to get it removed from the record and it shoudn't matter what county you got it in. Going awhile without a license is sure better that what he faces now and what the Siples face everyday for the rest of their lives.

I hate any of this happened and I hope that one day Cody will feel called to help other teens see that speed is not worth it.

-- Posted by localgal on Fri, Jun 20, 2008, at 11:41 AM

local gal,

I agree...

You should never be able to get a ticket removed from your record. They make it to easy for some people...

And I also hope like you that he will be called upon to speak to other teens about speeding. How great that would be to have some good come out of all of this. It's just sad that it had to happen this way.

-- Posted by mywords1 on Fri, Jun 20, 2008, at 12:49 PM

The article says 7 years in DOC. I worked for DOC, so I should know. The way it reads, he will get good time credit for any time already served, and 2 for 1 days, for every good day he behaves and doesn't get written up, he will get 2 days credit for every one day he behaves. Now I haven't worked for DOC for 22 years now so it may have changed, but I doubt it. The bleeding heart liberals have been in charge.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Fri, Jun 20, 2008, at 7:00 PM

Conservative Dad- You are right on target, nothing has changed in the last 22 years as far as them getting two days off the sentence for each day served. A seven year sentence means he will serve three and a half if he don't get into any trouble while incarcerated. Since he probably won't be allowed to drive while locked up, he'll probably get his good time credit.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Sat, Jun 21, 2008, at 12:23 AM

For what i hear his family is saying it is 2 for 1 he'll spend 3 1/2 yrs. Not enough

-- Posted by pepsilady on Sat, Jun 21, 2008, at 9:37 PM

I have but one question to ask and would like for someone to answer.


Think about it.


-- Posted by OLDTIMER42 on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 2:01 PM

sorry oldtimer I think only cody can give you a true answer

-- Posted by pepsilady on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 8:54 PM

Thank you Pepsilady only Cody and Brandee know the true answer.

-- Posted by OLDTIMER42 on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 8:33 AM

So I guess him still driving like that before he went to court is ok? Ask some of the kids at Northview that know him and how he was driving in his new car in the parking lot and when he got out on 340. All the kids that knew Brandee were talking about it. Doesn't sound like to me he learnt his lesson from this. How sad it is a young ladies life had to be lost because he wanted to "out run the cops again" what a waste. JMO

-- Posted by IndyBklyn99 on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 11:46 AM

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