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Last updated on Wednesday, December 4, 2013
(BLOOMFIELD) - Jordan Buskirk appeared before Judge Dena Martin in Greene Superior Court early Tuesday and admitted he and Randal Crosley planned and then killed 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe in early June.
Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw, speaking to media after the hearing, said it was important to the families involved to hear Buskirk come in and take responsibility for what he did to Katelyn Wolfe.
The Greene County Daily World reports that Buskirk arrived in the courtroom before the 8 a.m. change of plea hearing, handcuffed and wearing jail stripes. He sat with his court-appointed defense attorney Greene County Deputy Public Defender Jacob Fish.
Buskirk did not hesitate to answer any of the numerous questions asked and told the judge he understood the consequences of changing his plea - that he would have no right to appeal his conviction, and that he understood the charges and he was changing his plea freely and had not been pressured.
Buskirk is charged with four counts:
In the first count, felony murder, Buskirk admitted he intentionally killed Katelyn Wolfe by asphyxiation. When Holtsclaw asked him to clarify if the act was committed with Crosley - Buskirk answered yes. In the State of Indiana, the penalty for felony murder ranges from 45 to 65 years and a possible fine up to $10,000.
On the second count, conspiracy to commit murder, Buskirk admitted he and Crosley planned to intentionally kill a human being and they obtained rope, duct tape and an anchor, and the two men picked Wolfe up in Buskirk's car. This conspiracy count is a class A felony that carries a sentence ranging from 20 to 50 years, and a possible fine.
On the third count, conspiracy to commit rape, Buskirk said he was guilty and he admitted he and Crosley agreed to commit rape and that the two men obtained several items they intended to use in the crime. It's a class B felony punishable by six to 20 years and a possible fine.
Regarding the third count, Holtsclaw said he wanted Buskirk to clarify.
He confirmed that Buskirk, and Crosley, had a plan to commit the rape together and then Holtsclaw asked Buskirk, "Did you, or did you not, have sex with the victim?"
Buskirk replied, "We did not."
On the fourth count, criminal confinement, Buskirk admitted he and Crosley bound the hands and feet of the victim, and placed her in the trunk of Buskirk's car. Criminal confinement is a class C felony that carries a sentence range of two to eight years plus a possible fine.
No charges were dismissed or changed.
In accordance with the plea agreement that was signed by Buskirk last week, sentencing is 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 (conspiracy to commit rape) will be served concurrently or consecutively with the other counts.
Buskirk also agreed to continue cooperating with the investigation and he agreed to testify truthfully in the case against Randal Crosley, the co-defendant also charged with Wolfe's murder.
The court ordered a pre-sentencing investigation be completed by the Greene County Probation Department before Buskirk is sentenced, but Buskirk is not going to face sentencing for several months.
During Tuesday's hearing, both the prosecution and the defense told the judge they agreed to waive the legal requirement that a defendant be sentenced within 30 days of a conviction and hold off until after Buskirk testifies at Crosley's trial on May 19. Buskirk will not be sentenced until after he cooperates and testifies during the trial.
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