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March: Two Greene County Men Sentenced To 81 Years For Murder
Updated December 31, 2014 9:32 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - March closed a chapter for a Linton family, who lost a daughter after she was abducted and murdered.

Randal Crosley and Jordan Buskirk were both sentenced to 81 years in prison for the June 2013 murder of Katelyn Wolfe.

Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw asked Judge Dena Martin to sentence both men to the maximum penalty for their parts in killing 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe.

27-year-old Buskirk of Jasonville pled guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape and criminal confinement. His partner in crime, 26-year-old Crosley, also of Jasonville, plead guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape, criminal confinement and dealing a controlled substance.

A few days prior to the alleged attack, Buskirk told police that he and Crosley traveled to Terre Haute where they bought condoms, handcuffs, restraint straps, rope and a 20-lb. weight. Buskirk told investigators the initial plan was to "rape and then murder" and that it was an idea that "popped in their heads."

On June 10, 2013, divers discovered the Linton teen's body submerged in a Greene-Sullivan State Forest lake. Buskirk admitted to putting a rope around Wolfe's neck and tightening it until she lost consciousness.

Her killers then smothered and strangled her, tied a rope around her body, attached a 20-pound weight and threw her into the lake.

Holtsclaw says if the two murderers had been successful in their plan to rape the victim, the case would have qualified for the death penalty or life without parole. The two murderers were unsuccessful because Katelyn Wolfe fought back.

"This goes way beyond murder," said Holtsclaw. "She was killed for sport, for entertainment."

As with other sports, Holtsclaw said Crosley kept a trophy.

"He kept the handcuff key," said Holtsclaw, referring to a set of handcuffs bought by the murderers and used on the
victim.

The key was matched to the handcuffs found on the body. The key would not work other sets of handcuffs.

When the two defendants were charged with the murder, many of the details surrounding the case were released to
the public and are well-known. However, during the sentencing hearing, a number of additional details surfaced,
including results of tests performed on items sent to the Indiana State Police Lab, and additional information on the
evidence that would have been presented if the cases had gone to trial, including:

* Evidence that Crosley's phone had been used to search for lakes in the area during the planning of the murder

* Video that showed Crosley and Buskirk shopping at Cirilla's, selecting items to be used for rape and murder,
smiling, having a good time

* Video that showed the two men at Gander Mountain, first going to the aisle with ropes, then to anchors, lifting
anchors up, then purchasing two types of rope, a 20-pound anchor and a bag of candy

* Phone records that showed all three phones, belonging to Crosley, Buskirk and Wolfe, were together for an
extended period of time - officers knew the three had been together

* Katelyn Wolfe's DNA was found on Crosley's shirt and on his blue jeans

* Katelyn Wolfe's DNA was found on Buskirk's blue jeans

* Crosley's DNA was found on a cigarette butt found at one of the rural locations where events took place and other
items of evidence were found

* Prints from Crosley and Buskirk were found on pieces of duct tape found on the road

* DNA found on duct tape on the victim was consistent with Crosley but not Buskirk

* Duct tape found on the victim was consistent with other duct tape found on the road and other places

* Buskirk testified that they did not do anything sexual to the victim

* Buskirk testified that he did not strike the victim but he saw Crosley punch her in the face and head several times
because she was trying to bite him

* Buskirk testified that at one point, he asked the victim if she was scared and she tried to answer but he couldn't
understand her. Then Crosley got down close to her and told her it was "the bogeyman" then got up and said three
times that Buskirk needed to kill her

* Crosley told Buskirk it was "one something" meaning sometime after 1 a.m. when Wolfe died

* Video at a gas station showing the men making a stop for gas, then both looking into the trunk, Buskirk changing his shirt and discarding the one he'd been wearing. It also showed Crosley with dirt and stains on the knees of his blue
jeans

* Officers noticed a chemical odor and a wet spot in the trunk of the car and they found drugs and a ledger in the car
after the car was impounded

* When the car was searched, they found synthetic drugs, duct tape and a stain

* Katelyn Wolfe's DNA was found on the stain

* Buskirk said that after the murder, Crosley started to burn the SIM card from Wolfe's phone in Buskirk's car and Buskirk asked him why he was burning it in his car. They stopped and finished burning it on the side of a road, and they got rid of the battery -- the rest of the cell phone was thrown out at another location

Buskirk testified at Crosley's sentencing about the long-standing relationship between the two men and their lives leading up to the planning of the murder. Buskirk's testimony recounted the events before, during and after the murder step-by-step.

Buskirk said after the murder on June 6, Crosley handed him one of the handcuff keys and Crosley kept the other. He said he asked Crosley, "Why would I want this?" Crosley said to keep it. Buskirk responded by disposing of his key.

Making statements for the Wolfe Family, Beth Wolfe and Katelyn's father Eric Wolfe took the stand, and they requested a CD of images from Katelyn's life be played for the court and the defendant.

Prosecutor Holtsclaw said while Wolfe was fighting for her life, Crosley told her he was the bogeyman, they carted her body around in the trunk of a car, and dumped her out like a piece of trash.

Former Bloomington Project Manager And Two Bedford Men Arrested

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Police say 43-year-old Justin Wykoff, a Bloomington project manager, is accused of scheming with the owners of Reliable Concrete Company to steal more than $800,000 from the city of Bloomington and then splitting the money among themselves over the past three years.

Wykoff, of Bedford, was arrested at his home by federal agents and charged with 24 counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy.

An investigation into city contracts for road work by federal officials revealed a conspiracy that bilked nearly $1 million
from taxpayers. The money allegedly was diverted into the pockets of Wykoff and a father-son team, 52-year-old
Roger Hardin and 25-year-old Zachary Hardin of Bedford, who own Reliable Concrete Company.

Investigators allege Wykoff approved false invoices submitted by Reliable Concrete Co. The result was that the city
paid the company for work that was never done, and also for jobs actually carried out by other companies. The investigation indicated the concrete company sent false invoices to the city and that payment for the alleged services
was deposited into the Hardins' bank account.

Official documents filed in case say Wykoff accepted cash payments from the Hardins at least 24 times, receiving one-third of the amount. Police say the cash was a kickback Wykoff received in return for approving the fraudulent invoices.

The invoices were paid from May 13, 2011, through Feb. 14, 2014, according to a news release from U.S.
Attorney Joe Hogsett, involving concrete for projects on Rogers Street and on College Avenue in Bloomington. Improvement to sidewalks, curbs and driveways on College Avenue, between Second and Third streets, were
handled by Reliable Concrete for a low bid of $32,870. The city supplied materials for the project, which means
Reliable's costs were primarily labor, but the company's bid was more than $25,000 less than the second lowest
bidder, Hostetler Concrete. Groomer Construction quoted the project at $90,822.

The investigation into corruption was conducted by the Bloomington Police Department, the FBI and the Monroe
County Prosecutor's Office. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said his office was amenable to hand the case over
for federal prosecution.

In April 2012, Hogsett and the FBI announced a joint effort to expose corruption in government. They formed the
Public Integrity Working Group, PIWG, to rid the state of what Hogsett called a "culture of corruption."

Mitchell Man Sentenced To Prison For Child Pornography

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26-year-old Benjamin T. Blanton plead guilty to possession of child pornography and child exploitation and was sentenced by Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins.

Blanton was arrested on warrants for felony charges of child exploitation and four counts of possession of child pornography on March 12, 2013.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Blanton sold a computer to a friend, who found the images in February 2013 and contacted police.

Officers obtained a search warrant for Blanton's home and found child pornography on four devices.

Chief Public Defender Lorinda Youngcourt told Judge Robbins that Blanton cooperated with police and voluntarily sought therapy and argued for a sentence of three years.

Youngcourt says that Blanton has been going to therapy sessions and he moved out of his Lawrence County home away from his wife and children to live with his parents in Knox County. His parents posted his $2,005 bond and he has actively been seeking work in Knox County.

Blanton was sentenced to serve three years of supervised probation with one year on electronic monitoring and one year of unsupervised probation with credit for three days already served.

Judge Robbins ordered Blanton to follow standard probation terms and conditions, but issued special terms and conditions for Blanton as a registered sex offender, which are not available to the public.

Blanton's case was transferred to Knox County, and he will report to the probation department there.



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