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Area man to enter change of plea in case

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GREENCASTLE -- A Brazil man will be in Putnam County Circuit Court for a change of plea hearing Jan. 12.

Michael S. Batchelor, 52, is facing charges of attempted arson, domestic battery and theft of a vehicle.

According to a case report filed by Putnam County Sheriff's Department Deputy Ronnie Campbell, he was dispatched Oct. 7, to a residence in the 9000 block of South County Road 825 West, Reelsville, for "a domestic that had turned into an attempted arson."

The alleged victim told Campbell that she and Batchelor, who had left the scene, had been arguing and Batchelor had allegedly flipped over a chair while she was sitting in it.

The victim said that "(Batchelor) went outside with a newspaper and when she came out, Mr. Batchelor threw a log at her," Campbell wrote. "While outside, (the alleged victim) saw Mr. Batchelor make a fire in her barn full of dry wood."

The Reelsville Fire Department was called to extinguish the blaze, and it was doused before Campbell arrived, court documents stated.

"But you could see where the fire had burned the logs approximately 2.5-feet high," Campbell wrote. "After Mr. Batchelor set the fire, he left in (the alleged victim's) truck. Mr. Batchelor does not possess a valid driver's license."

Batchelor returned to the alleged victim's residence later that evening, but left again before police could apprehend him. When he departed, he took the alleged victim's truck without permission for a second time, court documents stated.

Batchelor was arrested Oct. 9. He has been lodged at the Putnam County Jail since in lieu of a $10,000 bond with 10 percent allowed that was set on Oct. 14. Batchelor initially entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

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