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Major crimes: A look back

  • Updated
  • 9 min to read
major crimes

There were a litany of high-profile crimes in Howard County in recent years, and many have yet to be resolved.

With the sheer amount of them, here’s a look back at the crimes and where they stand. All are innocent until proven guilty.

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Joshua Cochran

In 2018, Joshua Cochran allegedly hit and killed 10-year old Renay Jenkins while driving on Alto Road.

Cochran left the scene and later was located by law enforcement who claimed Cochran was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash and allegedly found marijuana on his person as well.

As a result, he faces a collection of charges, including two level five felonies of causing death when operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in his blood and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, as well as a level three felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident, and a class B misdemeanor for possession of marijuana.

Cochran has moved to suppress certain evidence and statements twice, and both have failed, with the Court of Appeals denying the most recent motion to suppress.

A pretrial conference is set in Superior Court II on March 16 of next year.

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Thomas Granson II

A former Kokomo Fire Department firefighter, Thomas Granson II, was charged with a level 6 felony of a performance before a minor that is harmful to minors in 2018.

Granson pleaded not guilty, and his defense argued that the “flashing” did not constitute a crime in the case.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the event in question occurred on July 20, 2018, when Granson returned to his home around 11 a.m. after working a shift at the fire department. The 14-year-old babysitter at his home told authorities that Granson had told her she “had really pretty eyes.” Granson, after showering, approached the babysitter wearing only a towel and allegedly said, “This is for your fantasies,” before dropping the towel and expose his genitals.

A hearing for a motion to suppress the case is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Superior Court IV.

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James Charles

A more recent case occurred in late October after Kokomo resident James Charles allegedly fatally strangled his girlfriend, Elizabeth Rodriguez.

Police discovered the body of Rodriguez on Oct. 25, which was concealed by a mattress about 60 feet away from her residence. According to investigators, Rodriguez’s face and neck appeared “very purple” with what appeared to be petechial hemorrhaging in both eyes. Charles arrived at the scene and told authorities that the victim frequently used marijuana and left the apartment around 2 a.m. to purchase the substance. He said she failed to return, and he started looking for her.

After Charles was told that the victim was his girlfriend, investigators said, “Mr. Charles appeared to be distraught and crying; however, I did not see any tears.”

After investigators contacted the victim’s mother and brother who lived out of state, they said that Rodriguez had contacted them prior to her death, alleging that Charles previously choked her on two occasions and that the victim told a friend that she thought she was “going to die.” Officers also learned of a separate incident where Charles choked another female at a local hotel.

Charles later admitted to murdering Rodriguez and told investigators that he had hidden the victim’s body and disposed of some of her personal items in an alley.

A jury trial for the case is slated for Jan. 29 in Superior Court I.

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Daniel Bray

On Sept. 27, officers with the Kokomo Police Department were dispatched to the area of Fischer Street and North Washington Street regarding a shooting.

Subsequently, investigators learned that an altercation took place after a hit-and-run accident occurred at The Country Palace at 2011 N. Market St.

The suspect, identified as Daniel Bray Jr., fired a single shot that struck two subjects. One victim, James D. Conwell, was treated for his injuries at Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo and survived. The other, Cody Kuefner, was treated at the same hospital but was pronounced deceased that morning.

Bray was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, level 2 felony; reckless homicide, a level 5 felony; criminal recklessness, a level 6 felony; operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC of .15 or more, class A misdemeanor; and battery by means of a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony.

A jury trial is set for Jan. 29 in Superior Court I.

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Christa Redman

On May 30, peaceful protests in Kokomo occurred in downtown Kokomo as demonstrators sought to make their voices heard in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

That same day, as demonstrators crossed the intersection of Superior and Washington streets, a woman, Christa Redman, drove her truck into the crowd, striking several of the demonstrators. A video of the incident quickly made rounds on social media, showing a silver Dodge pickup truck bypassing the traffic at the intersection before it crossed into the line of protestors.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officers spoke with Miranda Ogle at the scene. She claimed she was on the crosswalk when the truck approached her.

“Miranda stated the pickup honked at her and wanted her to move, but she said she wouldn’t move until the people in the crosswalk were out of the way,” read the affidavit. “Miranda stated the pickup truck advanced towards her and struck her in the front chest area with the front bumper. After striking her and another female, later identified as Deza’rae Bender … the pickup truck continued southbound on Washington Street.”

Redman, who worked as a corrections officer at the Howard County jail, resigned the day after and turned herself in to authorities on June 2. She was booked and bonded out the same day.

Redman is facing one felony, criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon, a level 6 felony, as well as two misdemeanor charges: leaving the scene of an accident and disorderly conduct, class A and class B misdemeanors, respectively.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 27 in Howard Circuit Court.

Braxton Cobb and Rayshone Jones

Braxton Cobb, 17, was charged as an adult for attempted murder (level 1 felony) last July after shooting a minor in a drive-by.

On July 17, police were dispatched to 605 Marsha Court in response to gunshots being fired and found an injured juvenile male. Upon arrival, officers determined the victim was 12 years old and had received gunshot wounds to his arms and chest. The victim was treated by paramedics on the scene before being taken to the emergency room and eventually transported to Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

In speaking with the victim prior to being transported for treatment, officers asked the 12-year-old who shot him, and he said “Braxton” but did not know his last name.

Officers observed surveillance footage from the area. According to the affidavit, the officer who viewed the footage “advised that he could observe a person who he knew to be Braxton Cobb in a white Nissan passenger car in the area of 605 Marsha Court. At one point in the video, Cobb appeared to be holding a handgun before getting into the car.”

The car then drove away, and the driver’s door opened in the area where spent bullet shell casings were observed.

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Additionally, officers were advised of two black males without their shirts on had been viewed fleeing the scene, who were located near the old Marsh Supermarket near LaFountain Street and Southway Boulevard. One of the suspects, Rayshone Jones, 18, possessed a backpack. According to a probable cause affidavit, officers believed they could feel a firearm in the bag, but Jones didn’t consent to a search. Jones and another juvenile male were transported to the police department for interviews.

Later, a vehicle was located that matched the description of Cobb’s on Market Street just south of Vaile Avenue. Witnesses told officers that Cobb allegedly was seen getting out of the vehicle and leaving the area with his father. Eventually Cobb was located and transported to the department for an interview. Cobb refused to provide a statement, but officers searched the vehicle he later was found in and located a handgun, a handgun magazine, and ammunition. Jones’ backpack also was searched, and police found three handguns, one of which was reported stolen from Anderson.

Ultimately, Cobb was charged with attempted murder (level 1 felony) and Jones was charged with theft of a firearm (level 6 felony) and carrying a handgun without a license (class A misdemeanor.)

A pretrial conference is slated for Cobb on March 4 in Superior Court IV. A pretrial conference for Jones will be held on Feb. 18, also in Superior Court IV.

Darrin K. Thomas and Sabrina R. Nix

On July 4, KPD officers responded to a call at 1824 N. Jay St. in reference to a male who was unconscious and unresponsive in the yard.

Officers found the victim, Anthony Hardimon, to have been battered with severe injuries. The victim was pronounced dead later that night.

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Four days later, Darrin K. Thomas and Sabrina R. Nix were served warrants in regard to the murder. Thomas faces aggravated battery (level 3 felony) and voluntary manslaughter (level 2 felony) charges. Nix was charged with aggravated battery (level 3 felony).

A jury trial for Thomas is scheduled for Jan. 29 in Superior Court I. A jury trial for Nix is scheduled for Nov. 20, also in Superior Court I.

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Kamoria Clark

In July 2019, police were dispatched to 1514 N. McCann St. in reference to a report of an accidental shooting. Upon arrival, officers found Zachariah Aguilar suffering from a gunshot wound to the face. After interviewing witnesses and examining forensic evidence, investigators determined that the cause of death was not accidental.

On March 13, 2020, a warrant was issued for Kamoria Clark for a charge of reckless homicide, a level 5 felony. Clark was arrested on March 18 in Indianapolis.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 24 in Superior Court II.

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Helen Martin

In late March, police arrested 56-year-old Helen Martin for allegedly drowning her 4-year-old grandson in her home.

After responding to a call of the potential drowning, officers made contact with the homeowner and guardians of the child, and the man, Martin’s husband, simply told officers, “She drowned him.”

The 4-year-old was found in the bathroom, unconscious and unresponsive. Lifesaving measures were unsuccessful, and the boy was pronounced dead shortly after.

During the investigation, Martin allegedly told officers that she faced a myriad of mental health issues, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Martin eventually told officers that after her husband left the home, she remembered drawing a bath, getting into it with her grandson with her clothes still on, and drowning him by holding his head under the water, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Martin was charged with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death (level 1 felony).

During an interview, Martin also allegedly told an officer that “her reason for doing this was she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought [the boy] would be better off in heaven than to be with her.”

In June, Martin’s attorney filed a notice of defense of mental disease or defect. A few days later, the court appointed two psychologists to examine Martin.

A second competency hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19, which will be followed by a jury trial on Dec. 17 in Superior Court IV.

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Troy Lamar Wilson, Uriah Levy, Steven Allen

On Feb. 3, Kokomo Police Department officers were dispatched to apartments at 703 S. Courtland Ave. after a shots fired call was made.

Officers found one victim, Lashay Young-Beard, deceased from a single gunshot wound. Upon entering and clearing the nearby apartment, officers found a man confined in the bathtub that, according to court documents, had been bound with duct tape. The victim estimated to police that he had been confined in the bathtub for four or five days.

Following investigations and interviews with the victim, warrants were issued for three men: Troy Lamar Wilson, Uriah M. Levy, and Steven B. Allen.

Allen’s charge of aiding, inducing, or causing or criminal confinement causing bodily injury, a level 3 felony, was dismissed. Allen pleaded guilty to criminal confinement resulting in bodily injury, a level 5 felony.

Levy was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, both level 3 felonies, and two counts of criminal confinement, also level 3 felonies.

Wilson, after the discovery of additional evidence of other kidnappings, was hit with several more charges. He was charged with two counts of criminal confinement, a level 3 felony; two counts of aggravated battery, a level 3 Felony; three counts of battery, level 5 and 6 felonies; and one count of rape, a level 3 felony.

A pretrial conference for Levy is set for Feb. 9 in Superior Court II. A change of plea hearing for Wilson is set for Nov. 24 in Superior Court II.

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Krystal Scott

In mid-July, the FBI raided the home of 19-year-old Krystal Scott after “internet sleuths” were accredited for alerting authorities of her filming torturing and killing animals, then posting the acts online.

The FBI found copious amounts of evidence, including “animal parts” and skulls. According to a probable cause affidavit that was filed in federal court, an unidentified individual posted images and videos online that depicted “torturing and graphically killing cats and dogs by hanging, skinning, and other means.”

The posts caught attention of several private citizens who used public information to identify the person. Eventually, authorities traced the location of the posts to Kokomo using an IP address, and on July 14, federal agents executed search warrants on Scott’s residence, discovering “numerous animal parts and skulls that were consistent with the size of cat’s and dogs.”

Scott faces up to seven years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.