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Friday, May 6, 2016

Additional information released in bizarre incident

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More information has come to light as three Louisiana men were formally charged for their involvement in a strange incident July 30.

Clifton Thomas, 30, Michael Thomas, 33, both from Ponchatoula, La., and William Drake 31, Tickfaw, La., are each currently being held in the Clay County Justice Center on $100,000 cash bonds (with no 10 percent allowed).

The incident apparently began as a forgery complaint at First Financial Bank, 2180 East National Ave., Brazil, shortly after 5 p.m., Friday.

According to officials with the Brazil City Police Department, James Bush, 51, Kentucky, entered the bank and immediately claimed he was being forced to cash a forged check by three black males who were waiting for him in a white sport utility vehicle (SUV) parked in The Freeze parking lot across the street.

However, the incident apparently started much earlier in the day.

According his official statement, Bush explained he met one of the suspects while looking for work in Indianapolis. When Bush agreed and got into a 2010 Chevy Traverse driven by Drake, he said two more men also got inside and restrained him from leaving while the driver took Interstate-70 into Clay County.

Upon arrival in Brazil, Bush said the suspects went to Walmart. While two of the suspects went inside to purchase new clothing, Bush was allegedly kept in the vehicle.

Forced to change clothes, Bush said the suspects allegedly forged a check for him to cash.

According to the probable cause affidavits on file at the courthouse, the suspects did not have legal authority to be in possession of checks belonging to two Brazil businesses, including Hughes Auto Sales and Westside Replacement Parts.

Once spotting officials investigating the incident at the bank, the suspects left the restaurant parking lot and turned east on United States 40.

Clifton Thomas
Refusing to stop, Drake led police on a chase through the Harmony area, colliding with some road signs (causing more than $250 in damages) and damaging the SUV, which is a rental car from Georgia.

After briefly losing the pursuing officers, Drake headed back to US 40 and turned west but stopped in an area near Clay Street.

Although the suspects fled on foot, a local resident helped officers catch one suspect near the vehicle, while a K-9 Unit from the Clay County Sheriff's Department located a second suspect in a bean field across the street. The third suspect was taken into custody without incident later the same evening when an off-duty sheriff's deputy observed him walking west on US 40 in the area of Tower Road.

The Clay County Prosecutor's Office filed formal allegations against the three men Wednesday.

Clifton W. Thomas was formally charged with class C felony criminal confinement and two counts of class D felony receiving stolen property in Clay Circuit Court. After entering a plea of not guilty, Clifton notified the court he would be seeking private counsel. A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4.

Michael T. Thomas was formally charged with class C felony criminal confinement, two counts of class D felony receiving stolen property and one class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement in Clay Superior Court. A public defender will be appointed in this case, which is tentatively scheduled for a jury trial Dec. 13.

Michael Thomas
Willy L. Drake was formally charged with class C felony criminal confinement, class C felony forgery, class D felony resisting law enforcement, three class D felony receiving stolen property, a class A misdemeanor criminal mischief and a class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement in Clay Superior Court. He appeared in court by video conference. A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 13.

Officials have also confirmed Drake is also facing an outstanding arrest warrant from Allen County, Ind.

Officials at the Clay County Justice Center confirmed Thursday that all three suspects remain incarcerated while awaiting further court proceedings.

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How in the world did these guys wind up with checks from a local business.

-- Posted by Schraderfan on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 7:23 AM

There is obviously more to this story than they are saying... I agree how did they get these checks?

-- Posted by Innocent on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 8:04 AM

I have to agree that this is bizarre, and that there is obviously a lot more to the story.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 2:02 PM

Im sure there is ,ivy jacobs puts in what suits her, leaves out things ,adds things here and there. Thats what happens i guess, when anyone calls themselves a reporter but doesn't research stories just tells what she's told by whomever calls the story in, doesn't put any personal effort into getting the story, so that the article comes across with correct information as well as complete information so nine times out of ten I always have to fill in the blanks with a guess, thats not a reporter, unless its in the Times.

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 2:43 PM

WOW, Edward Kane.

Guess it's a good thing you have a pseudonym, because that comment is about 99% slanderous. That's a pretty big axe you got there. If you can do the job, get off your porcelain throne, put your real name out there (for once) and start writing.

What? The reporter and newspaper put one of your family members on the front page?

Did it ever dawn on your sensitive nature that tidbit of info, that you seem so desperately need to know RIGHT NOW, is still probably being investigated by officials, and they haven't said anything yet? Contrary to your own self importance and arrogance, you don't need to know EVERYTHING about everything.

All the world enjoys a clown, show's over, say goodbye Edward.

I say "Good work and Kudos" to the bravery of the victim and to our law enforcement for catching these fools and to our local newspaper for keeping us better informed than the other media outlets. I know more now then I did before.

-- Posted by Cy on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 5:06 PM


Thanks for helping to make "the suspects did not have legal authority to be in possession of checks belonging to two Brazil businesses, including Hughes Auto Sales and Westside Replacement Parts" make sense for the senseless (Edward).

Hope your family gets justice.

-- Posted by Cy on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 5:08 PM

Cy Thats my opinion and I'm stickin to it,BTW, you couldn't have drawn a more incorrect guess about me if you tried, not that it matters one way or the other to me what you decide is right. I was not the only one of this opinion if you re read the other comments before mine.Also, if the paper was really doing such a good job keeping us informed, why didn't they post a warning to residents that one of the suspects had gotten away on foot nearby, so residents could have taken extra precautions about locking doors, getting children inside or whatever one would like to have done had they had a clue it was happening. That would be a good time to use the breaking news feature they have.

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 9:12 PM

Ed, opinions are just that, opinions. And statements are not slanderous if they are true. Cy must think his opinion is the only one that counts.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 11:49 PM

All of US who comment on these stories are ONLY armchair quarterbacks using OUR opinions and are armed with LIMITED information to post to this newspaper website. Yours, mine, or the collective OPINION of all posters don't matter regarding the facts of a story. Why? Because we the readers and posters DONT know what those actual facts are until a legal or criminal case is resolved.

However, let's all be real here, if this newspaper was as wrong as everyone likes to post on here, there would be lawsuits involved. We live in a litigious society, and that would be happening. ITS NOT!

Edward (and your defender Lee Thall) I will apologize for incorrectly using SLANDER. What you did was called LIBEL. I, like many people, get them confused. LOL But that doesn't change what you did, which was different than what others wrote.

In writing, you singled out a specific person (the reporter) and identified them in a defamatory or malicious misrepresentation. TELL US: What part of your comment wasn't malicious?

The other comments didn't do that. Only you made a personal attack (other than Lee Thal, who sided with you for argument's sake. I still adore your sense of humor Lee).

You, and maybe a few others, "had to guess" because of the story. You were disappointed because the reporter didn't call them thieves who stole the checks. That's called opinion. If the officials don't say that, a newspaper reporter can't WRITE that. If THEY DO, and it's proven it was intentionally done, then they could be in a lot of trouble.

I have a friend who works at a newspaper in Georgia, and he says its a different industry than television or the internet websites. The writing makes factual reporting crucial if they plan on having a career for very long! In this economy, I imagine newspaper reporters are REALLY checking the facts, because there are always new ones coming out of J-school.

It really ticks me off to see someone do their job (which has to be hard in this town) and be personally attacked for their efforts by a person who has no clue what it takes to do it. And then, that same person, apparently takes pleasure in being mean in a VERY public way. You're attacking a person for doing their job, their livelihood.

Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but what happened to being respectful, even nice? If I'm all wrong about you Edward, then where are your scruples and where is your apology for being mean?

You can say a story is tripe. Hell, shout it from the rooftops if it makes you feel better. I've had those moments too! But personally attacking the person who wrote it is just wrong. Then again, that's only an opinion.

-- Posted by Cy on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 11:35 AM

And opinions are like what...... We all have one......

-- Posted by blondiesf on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 3:03 PM

It doesn't matter what anyone says on here there is always gonna be someone out there, to either like it or not like it.

To pick it apart,laugh about it,or complain about it.

Not a person out there can just sit back and read what is being wrote....and take it for what it is....JUST ANOTHERS OPINION!!!!!

I try to for the most part, but hell even I am human, and find myself, getting caught up in the game once in awhile also, and just have to hit that keyboard with my response back to someone else's comment on something I didn't agree with!

And I will be the first to admit that is wrong of me also, but people we are all human here, but we are also all adults on here too for the most part I do believe!

So use your better judgement and keep it nice and quit the name calling and belittlin' others on here....people do have feelings and not everyone is of the same education, and don't deserve to be made fun of, just because of their grammar, spelling, punctuation, wording,or be it whatever!


-- Posted by blondiesf on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 3:13 PM

Well Cy, it's not libelous if it's true.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 9:27 PM

So glad to see the usual posters responding to this story are having their regular hootenanny! Pardon me for interrupting haters quest, but I don't believe slander or libal are pertanent in the comments section of this publication. It is intended for comments.

OK, so am I the only one to ask, why would the man from KY after just meeting one of these fellows welcome getting into their vehicle? Is it just me or they pretty intimidating looking individuals? And let me question, what made these men travel to Brazil? And my biggest quandry is why would they go to Wal Mart to buy clothes for the KY man to wear? Things that make you wanna say "huh"......

The reporter was quoting the "probable cause" affidavits (the suspects did not have legal authority...) giving Clay County Sheriffs legal reason to investigate this incident. At that point, the suspects could not be charged with fraud or forgery until the check was actually cashed.

In any case, Kudos to the local resident who helped officers apprehend one of the suspects !!!!

Edward, Cy is right, if you are unsatisfied with The Brazil Times publication, perhaps you should contact the editor. Ivy Jacobs obviously researched her material (since she went to the courthouse to read the probable cause affidavits)and I'm sure did several interviews, but I question how you came to the conclusions that she is a substandard reporter....OH yeah, your OPINION........

Regardless, thank you for postings - have a blessed day. Silverlining

-- Posted by Silverlining on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 6:26 AM

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