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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Home invasion suspects formally charged

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clay County Justice Center Jailer Evan Sutherland, Indiana State Police Troopers Sam Stearley and Chris Carter provide security escort for suspects Joshua L. Orman, 23, Brazil, and James Levi Orman, 19, after their formal arraignment in Clay Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon. Ivy Jackson Photo. [Order this photo]
After a violent home invasion/burglary at a rural Clay County home on Jan. 14, officials hope the arrest and formal charges filed in against four suspects alleged involved in the case will help ease the minds of Clay County residents.

"When something like this happens, we're going to pursue the highest level of charges we believe we can prove," Clay County Lee Reberger said during a press conference at the Clay county Justice Center Wednesday afternoon.

Officials announced the formal charges filed against four suspects alleged involved in the recent rural Clay County home invasion/burglary.

Appearing before Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout, cousins Joshua L. Orman, 23, and James Levi Orman, 19, Brazil residents, were charged separately but with the same six formal allegations, including:

* Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury,

* Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury,

* Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury,

* Class B felony aggravated battery,

* Class D felony theft, and

* Class D felony residential entry.

Trout appointed attorney James Organ as James Orman's public defender, while attorney Geoffrey Creason was appointed Joshua Orman's public defender.

A $50,000 cash bond (no 10 percent allowed) was established for both, who remain incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center. The court stipulated a condition on the bond that if James or Joshua is able to bond out that they must be placed on home detention or daily reporting to authorities.

Tentative court dates were also set in both cases, with James' jury trial scheduled for June 8 and Joshua's jury trial scheduled for May 4.

The prosecutor's office confirmed to The Brazil Times both Joshua and James were on probation through a conviction/guilty plea in Clay Circuit Court at the time of the incident on Jan. 14, which is why both of their cases were transferred to that "familiar court."

The third suspect, Christopher Charles Craft, 19, Brazil, has been formally charged by the prosecutor's office with the same six formal allegations listed above, although his initial appearance for court proceedings has yet to be scheduled per the Superior court calendar.

The prosecutor's office also confirmed Craft was on probation through a conviction/guilty plea in Clay Superior Court at the time of the incident on Jan. 14.

Craft remains incarcerated a $50,000 cash bond (no 10 percent allowed).

If convicted of a class A felony, the highest charge filed against the above mentioned suspects at this time, the advisory sentence issued by the state for a guilty conviction/plea agreement ranges from 20-50 years in prison (with 30 years the recommended sentence) and potential fines up to $10,000.

The fourth suspect, Lindsey J. Beaman, 19, has bonded out of jail to wait for her initial hearing date to be scheduled for formal arraignment on the class A misdemeanor charge of false informing.

"These are only allegations at this time," Reberger said. "These suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

On Jan. 14, sometime around 3 a.m., a resident reported to authorities three unknown male suspects with handguns forced their way into his home, beat him and held a his girlfriend and their baby at gunpoint while they stole several items from the home.

To protect the integrity of the case, officials were unable to release information about any connection between the victims and the suspects.

After the home invasion/burglary was reported, members of the Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Unit, Clay County Sheriff's Department and the United States Marshal's Office worked more than 35 hours straight before taking a small break and then returning to work another 22 hours investigating the case to find the suspects.

"Within a few hours after the report, ISP had detectives on the scene," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the interdepartmental investigation. "A few hours later there were more, which was really valuable considering our full-time detective who is off duty recovering from an accident. I really appreciate their efforts in this case."

As information was gathered in the early stages of the investigation, Reberger said a similar incident was reported a few minutes after the one in Clay County in Vigo County.

"There were similarities that potentially tied the two cases together," Reberger said. "Investigators immediately began to share our information with the Vigo County Sheriff's Department."

The violent attack of a homeowner trying to help someone in need, stirred the emotions of officers working the case.

"We take these cases seriously. We will work around the clock when something like this happens," ISP Public Information Officer Joe Watts said. "Anytime someone invades a home with guns and beats the homeowner before stealing items, that case jumps to the top of the burner. In America, your home is a place, the one place, you should be assured to be safe."

Heaton said if a homeowner experiences someone approaching their home late at night to go to the door with a phone in hand and talk through the locked door.

"Don't open the door. If they say they can't hear you and want you to open the door, inform them you are calling the police," he said. "Call us, we're here 24-hours-a-day. We can be there in a few minutes."

Although Indiana has laws in effect that allow homeowners to use force to protect themselves, cautious officials said the laws would not protect anyone if the force used is not reasonable and appropriate. According to one official, "if attacked with a paperclip you can't respond by using a knife."

Reberger agreed, and although this case is believed to be a random incident, he along with other officials offered some safety tips for homeowners.

"In these times it might not be possible to be the Good Samaritan we might want to be," Reberger said. "If this happens, homeowners should never open the door."

For more information about this case or the Vigo County investigation into a second similar case, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535 or Vigo County Sheriff's Department at 812-462-3226.

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They don't seem to appear to be smiling now. I'm sorry when I was younger, I done some silly things but never could even think about having enough balls to break into someone's house, especially with them home. I'm sure they will be goners!!!

-- Posted by ape1 on Wed, Jan 21, 2009, at 10:37 PM

Thanks for the effort made by all agencies to remove these people from the streets! I hope they are given a stiff sentence and removed from society for a long time!

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 7:02 AM

It makes it kind scary what people will do now days. I was rasied to help people but now it scares you to. I too Hope these guys get a stif sentence. Luckly for the victims it didnt turn out worse . The cops have done a good job lets just hope the judge follows thru.

-- Posted by kd323 on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 7:41 AM

I don't know if anyone else has noticed but it seems that we've not had many trials in our county with our current judges/prosecutor. I would be interested to know the number of cases vs the number of trials. Even better, it would be interesting for the Times to do a story and list charges (no names) and the sentence that was given for those charges. Somehow I think we'd be shocked at what has gone on in our county! I have no problem with either of the judges or our prosecutor so I'm not out to get anyone but the fact is, it seems that most everyone gets to plea bargain out of things with a slap on the wrist! It's time to let a jury have some input on what happens in our county! Obviously it isn't working the way they do things now because we see the same names and faces in the paper being charged with the same crimes over and over. It's time for a change and it's time that the punishment is truly punishment!

-- Posted by just thinking on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 7:49 AM

just thinking:

I believe that money is a big factor in how cases are handled. Not pointing any fingers here at all but public officials have budgets to work under so they have to decide which cases are going to be the most profitable to go to court with compared to what it's going to cost. Plea bargains might seem unjust to us outsiders as we think someone is getting away with something but the officials are weighing all the costs and looking at their total budget. Costs money for incarceration, court time, law enforcement's time in courtroom, public defender, witnesses, jurors, various clerks and others who record everything and make sure all is done according to procedure so there are no loopholes by which to escape.

I agree that if slap on the wrist is all the consequence received, it is not much of a deterrent but just how much more would it cost the taxpayers to follow through on each one of these cases? Is it really affordable? Sort of a catch 22 situation. We don't have enough for follow through so it allows more to think they will not be punished very much so it may make situation worse??? Just how much are we willing to have our taxes raised to deal with this? How much worse is it going to get? Is there a way we can help deter future crime and not only deal with current crime?

Is anyone looking at the bigger picture?

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 9:03 AM

Dear just thinking, what a concept , since they probably monitor the comments I bet they're already getting a list ready for our review, they did a good job on the charges with this home invasion, they have to wade thru every case based on charges filed by the police and etc. but it does get tiresome , same as it gets tiresome being on the recieving end of breaking and entering, seems that we managed to buy a 100 acres right in the middle of a bad area for that sort of thing and finally I think things will be getting settled down now, and I can ease up on the target practice.

-- Posted by Centered on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 9:57 AM

I say good job to our law enforcement officers. We live in a scary place and people will do just about anything. I am glad to know that our local departments are willing to work around the clock to protect us and help keep the crazies of the street. I hope these guys get put away for a long time. They deserve it.

-- Posted by sexybrunette on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 9:58 AM

Maybe they could be sentenced to some place that they have to work for their keep? I see nothing wrong with raods being fixed, public buildings being cleaned and various other things done by prisoners so that tax dollars can be saved. I have to work for my keep.

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 10:00 AM

roads... sorry

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 11:47 AM

Uh, where are the weapons charges? According to Indiana law, you can't have a handgun carrying it around unless you have a permit, but, in nearly all cases this is not prosecuted. Oh, thats right! They only use those laws when they A) don't like you and B) don't have anything else on you. Should law enforcement enforce all the applicable laws instead of just the ones they LIKE? Guns were probably stolen. What did they do about it? The anti-gun lobby is trying to steal my rights yet, these guys clearly violated weapons laws and got no charges. I'm confused and angry...

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 1:56 PM

Though I am angry about the lack of weapons charges, I am really proud of our fantastic law enforcement people for snatching these bums! Great job guys!

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 2:01 PM

to jenny moore:

I hear what you are saying but I cannot agree with that kind of logic! If we can't afford to use our court system, why are so many people on payroll when they rarely have a trial?? If we can't afford to prosecute offenders, why bother hiring policemen and women to patrol and arrest people that are breaking the law? Yes money is an issue but i have to believe it is for any county. I agree with 'sassypants'! Let's set an example of a county that doesn't just provide free room and board for an inmate but put them to work to make Clay County a nice place to live! Let them work with out street department cleaning the parks and sweeping the streets and filling pot holes! Let them earn their way the same way we all do! I bet they won't be as excited to return!

-- Posted by just thinking on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 2:37 PM

The suspects have been charged with the highest available class A felony, in the Indiana code that includes the use of a deadly weapon, Ic 35-42-5-1, the very first charge as stated in this article, resulting in serious bodily injury so they are being charged on the weapons it just was not stated as such, but covered under the code.

-- Posted by Centered on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 4:20 PM

To Jenny Moore and "Just Thinking"---- Since We are all off topic again, I would like to give my opinion. Quite frankly, your topic (money, plea agreements and jury trials) is interesting. In my opinion your both right. In 2008 more than 1000 felony and misdemeaner cases were filed in Circuit and Superior Courts. That's 1000 Defendants. I am sure Jenny is right in that the County budget has only so much allocated for jury trials. I have been told that the average run of mill jury trial costs beween 5k-10k.-----of course the more serious the case the more the cost i.e. deposition fees, witness fees, expert witness fees, investigator fees, jury fees including housing and food. Also don't forget the appeal. I thought I read in the Terre Haute paper that the Parke County murder case has already cost Parke County over 500k. Now, with that said, I agree with you "just thinking" that jury trials have a way of sending a message over to the jail. Without jury trials, defendants are not pressed to resolve the case. With 1000 cases per year surely no one would think that any system could try more than 1/2 doz. to a doz. per court per year and not grind the system to a slow crawl and financialy impact the County. Personally, I think if the Prosecutor made an example of a dozen cases per year-6 jury trials per court- the quality of plea agreements would be more to your liking. What you should hate are not plea agreements---but bad plea agreements. You know, the kind where the punishment don't fit the crime-the judges have to reject ect. A "good agreement" with some bite to it can be a good resolution--no cost, no appeal. Again, this opinion has nothing to do with the story above--which look very serious.

-- Posted by alias on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 5:17 PM

I know personally what kind of a person one of these men are. He had this coming for a long time and he needed to be stopped. I just feel sorry for his children, that their daddy is such a loser, deadbeat, idiot.

-- Posted by jessdixon on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 7:28 PM

Great job ISP and CCSD and any other agency that assisted. I know that you all worked long exhausting hours on this case and I just want you to know that it is appreciated.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 7:38 AM

They will be given a plea deal,slapped on the wrist, told to go home and be a good boy, and you will be reading about them again in the future

-- Posted by T-REX on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 11:15 AM


Thanks for looking that up for me. I appreciate that. I just hope it all gets delivered. Law enforcement sure did deliver for us! Now its the courts' turn...


-- Posted by TheRider on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 3:02 PM

T-REX--I hope you are wrong, but if you're not, then it's all of our duty to ensure that we send a message to the courts and let them know that this is not what we voted them into office to do. We hired them and we can fire them.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 11:44 PM

According to Clay County Court records Joshua L. Orman was previously charged with carrying a handgun without a permit last year so I believe his sentencing could have possible modifiers. Maybe that is why he was on probation perhaps???


-- Posted by dorindaJ on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 12:01 AM

-- Posted by opininated on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 7:29 PM

-- Posted by opininated on Tue, Jan 27, 2009, at 4:46 PM

I don't think it is only Lee, prosecutor's all over the US have to make pleas, they don't have enough money to try all these cases. I personally don't think the judges have the right to tell people that they don't like Lee's preformance when they to have the say in sentencing and besides that if they did say that I think you should have enough sence not to be publishing it on here. I think they are violating confidentiality or you are just spreading rumors. So when they do start trying all these cases by jury and they raise your taxes don't cry about it cause this is what you wanted.

-- Posted by ape1 on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 7:55 AM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Thu, Jan 29, 2009, at 8:09 AM

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