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Buskirk Changes Plea To Guilty In Murder Of Katelyn Wolfe
Updated November 27, 2013 7:26 AM | Filed under: Crime
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Jordan Buskirk
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Katelyn Wolfe

(BLOOMFIELD) - Jordan Buskirk, one of two men accused of the murder of Katelyn Wolfe in June, is going to plead guilty to murder.

The Greene County Daily World reports that Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw received an offer on Thursday from Buskirk's attorney, Greene County Deputy Public Defender Jacob Fish. The two will meet on Friday.

Holtsclaw met with Wolfe's family and discussed the pros and cons of accepting a plea agreement and decided on Monday to accept the plea.

On Monday, Buskirk, Holtsclaw and Fish signed a plea agreement that was filed in Greene Superior Court early Tuesday morning.

Buskirk will plead guilty to:

* Count 1 -- Murder, a felony

* Count 2 -- Conspiracy to commit murder, a class A felony

* Count 3 -- Conspiracy to commit rape, a class B felony

* Count 4 -- Criminal confinement, a class C felony

No charges are being dismissed or changed.

Sentencing will be left to the discretion of the court.

However, counts 1, 2 and 4 will be served concurrently (at the same time) and the court will decide if count 3 will be served concurrently or consecutively.

Under Indiana law, the sentence range for murder is 45 to 65 years and the sentence for count 3, a class B felony, ranges from six to 20 years.

Holtsclaw says Buskirk will serve a minimum of 51 years up to a maximum of 85 years, depending on the judge's decision.

In addition, Buskirk agrees to continue cooperating with the investigation and agrees to testify truthfully at any hearing or deposition and at the trial of Randal Crosley, the co-defendant also charged with Wolfe's murder.

The death penalty or a sentence of life without parole are options that are off the table in the cases of two men charged with the murder of Katelyn Wolfe last June.

Holtsclaw says the cases do not meet the requirements to ask for a sentence of death or life without parole.

He says the DNA results in both cases will not allow the state to prove any one of the 16 aggravators that must be present for a death penalty or life without parole case.

According to information from the Indiana Public Defender's Council, the defendant must have committed the murder by intentionally killing the victim while committing one of the 16 aggravating factors that include crimes like arson, burglary, child molesting, rape and several other felonies.

Jordan Wayne Buskirk, 26, and Randal Edward Crosley, 25, both from Jasonville, have been charged in Wolfe's murder.

A change of plea hearing is set for Buskirk December 3 in Greene Superior Court.

The court will then order a pre-sentencing investigation which must be completed before sentencing. Holtsclaw says the sentencing hearing will probably be after the first of the year.

Katelyn Wolfe was reported missing on Thursday, June 6.

In less than 12 hours after Wolfe was reported missing and the investigation began, police had two suspects and Crosley had been taken into custody on an outstanding warrant in an unrelated case from another county.

Crosley was arrested early on Friday, June 7 and booked in to the Greene County Jail around 5:45 a.m. by Linton Police Officer Nick Yingling.

Buskirk was taken into custody within days after Wolfe's body was found in a body of water in Sullivan County.

Although Crosley and Buskirk were "persons of interest" very early in the investigation, officers did not know where to look for Wolfe and were searching.

Then on Sunday, June 9, they spoke to Tamera Crosley, wife of Randal Crosley, at the police department and she told them she had gone out to rural areas she was familiar with to look for Wolfe. She said at one of the lakes she went to, she saw a shoe floating on the surface of the water at the base of high wall.

Officers went to that location that day but did not locate anything on dry land. The next day, on Monday, June 10, they called in Indiana Conservation Officers and ICO Gregg made arrangements to search the lake. The body was recovered around 5 p.m.

Investigators say the murder took place on a county road in Greene County then Wolfe's body was dumped into the lake located in Sullivan County. They also allege the two men, who are longtime friends, had been planning to rape and murder someone and that they had purchased several items to use in the crime.

Buskirk was arrested the same night that Wolfe's body was recovered, Monday, June 10, and booked in to the Greene County Jail around 11 p.m. by LPD Detective Josh Goodman.

On Tuesday, June 11, Buskirk accompanied officers to the locations where events had taken place.

An autopsy examination was conducted by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute. According to Kohr's report, the cause of Wolfe's death was asphyxia due to smothering and the manner of death was homicide.

Both were charged with: Felony murder; conspiracy to commit murder, a class A felony; conspiracy to commit rape, a class B felony; and criminal confinement, a class C felony. In addition, Crosley was charged with two counts of dealing in a Schedule IV controlled substance, both class C felonies.

Crosley has also been named as a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred in Avon, Ind. in 2012 but charges have not yet been filed against him in that case.

Both men have remained incarcerated since their arrests -- the court ordered they be held without bond.

In both cases, defense attorneys asked for changes in venue away from Greene County then agreed the cases would be tried locally with juries drawn from residents from another county.

Crosley's case is scheduled to go to a trial by jury in March.



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