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Tipton Not Guilty Of Attempted Murder

Last updated on Monday, November 21, 2011

(BEDFORD) - Just past midnight, a 12-panel Lawrence County jury found Kenneth Tipton guilty of being an habitual offender.

Earlier in the evening Tipton was found not guilty of attempted murder that resulted in a standoff between him and police in an August 2009 incident.

He was convicted of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and dealing marijuana, two felony charges.

Following the verdict he was charged with being a habitual offender. Indiana Law states that if you have three felony convictions you can be charged as a habitual offender.

Special Prosecutor Stan Levco presented the case for the state. Tipton's had two previous felony convictions about 10 years ago, on theft and intimidation charges.

Lawrence Superior Court II Judge William Sleva will sentence Tipton on the convictions at 9 a.m. Dec. 16.

Defense attorney Scott Callahan objected to the habitual offender charges saying he was not given the names of two witnesses Levco planned to put on the stand. Judge Sleva over ruled the objection.

During the summary of the first trial Callahan told jurors that Tipton made irrational decisions, but emphasized Tipton was in a "state of crisis" but never intended to kill anyone. No one was ever in the line of fire. He said the investigation was not thorough and it "was scary" that testimony from officers was conflicting and often times "lies or made up to support the evidence."

Callahan told jurors that Tipton was an excellent shot and if he had wanted someone dead he could have done it.

Tipton's adoptive father testified that his son had been shooting since he was 10 year-old and had killed rabbit, deer, squirrel, pheasant and quail and won numerous shooting competitions.

Callahan also stated that the crime scene investigator former BPD Detective Dan Atchison was never called by the state to testify, most of the evidence was not tested, there was no follow-up investigation.

However Deputy Prosecutor Tim Sledd, said during his summation, that officers were in the line of fire with every one of the five shots Tipton took that evening. He claims testimony showed Tipton shot at BPD officer Justin Dodd intending to kill him.

Tipton was arrested August 16, 2009, and has been at the Lawrence County Jail since his arrests. Police were called to 2418 J Street on an allegation that Tipton had battered his wife.

While on the stand as a defense witness, Tipton's wife Cynthia says the couple were having marital problems and under a lot of stress when the standoff happened. But she said she plans to remain married to Tipton with whom she has a 3-year-old son.

Earlier in the day, the defense had put Tipton's wife, Cynthia; his adoptive mother, Rosetta; Sheriff Sam Craig; and Bedford policemen Brandon Woodward, Greg Hagan, Rob Herr and James Lindsay on the stand to testify.

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