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Last updated on Monday, October 29, 2012
(PAOLI) - Sentencing for Marvin Noland is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday in Orange Circuit Court.
A plea agreement reached in August meant Noland would not stand trial for murder in the 2010 death of 79-year-old Robert Collier, of rural Orleans.
20-year-old Noland, of Washington County, was one of two men charged in connection with Collier's death.
According to Orange County Prosecutor Kelly Minton, Noland pleaded guilty to auto theft, and failure to report a dead body, both misdemeanor charges. Noland also had been charged with a felony count of aiding murder; he entered a plea of guilty to the lesser offense of aiding voluntary manslaughter.
Roger Moon of the Times-Mail reports that the other man charged in Collier's death was 24-year-old Sterlen Keller, of Washington County. He was convicted in April on charges of burglary, theft, auto theft and failure to report a dead body. He was cleared of the murder charge.
Keller was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
The two men were charged after Collier's badly decomposed body was found behind the barn on his property near Bromer. According to court records, Collier had been strangled.
Charging information, early in the police investigation, stated only that the incidents related to his death occurred "on or about the summer of 2010." His body was not discovered until early October.
A report filed by Indiana State Police Detective Rick Magill say Orange County Sheriff's Department Detective Denis Lanham went to Collier's home at 5952 N. County Road 650 E., Orleans, after receiving a call from Washington County Sheriff's Department requesting a welfare check. The report states there had been a rumor going around that Sterlen Keller and Marvin Noland were in possession of a possible stolen truck and that they had possibly killed a person.
Stewart had been given information by Joe Howell Sr., Keller's stepfather, that a truck registered to Collier was in Keller's possession. Arriving at the Collier residence, Lanham first checked around the residence and no one answered. He then "checked the area around the outbuildings and he located a human body that appeared to be in advanced state of decomposition," the report states.
Authorities then contacted family members of Keller and Noland, and the men were taken to the Washington County Jail for questioning. They were arrested and taken to the Orange County Jail.
The police report states Collier was home when Keller and Noland went to his property and the three men began looking at a fuel tank for scrap, Noland told police he heard a noise and turned around to see Keller strangling Collier. Noland said he didn't try to stop Keller, and he "turned away and prayed."
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