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February: Heltonville Man Murdered Inside Home
Updated December 31, 2014 10:00 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The top headline for the month of February was the death of 43-year-old Rodney R. Allender of Heltonville.

Officers from the Lawrence County Police Department were called to Allender's home at 1758 Dutch Ridge Road after Rodney's son Clinton Allender and Clinton's girlfriend arrived and found Rodney's body.

According to an autopsy report, Allender died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Three Bedford teens were arrested for the murder. 18-year-old Austin Curtis was sentenced in September to 55 years to the Department of Corrections for his part in the murder. Curtis admitted to his participation in the robbery where Allender was attacked and killed, but Curtis would not admit to killing Allender. As part of Curtis' plea agreement he must testify against the two other suspects, 16-year-old Dillon Hicks and 20-year-old Taylor Flynn.

During testimony at Curtis' sentencing, he told Superior Court I Judge William Sleva that the teens planned to rob Allender after they learned he kept a large amount of money in a safe at his home on Dutch Ridge Road. Allender owned and operated Allender Excavating & Logging.

According to Defense attorney Sam Shapiro, the teens had went by the house several times over a number of days before committing the crime.

Curtis testified that the plan was for Flynn to dress up like a woman and knock on the door. When Allender opened the door Flynn shot him in the leg. Curtis says there was then a struggle and Flynn told Curtis to hit Allender in the head. Curtis admitted to striking Allender once in the leg and once in the head with a baseball bat.

Flynn also hit Allender in the head with the rifle butt. Once Allender was down on the floor he was tied up with duct tape.

Police say the teens allegedly hit and tased Allender repeatedly until he gave them the combinations to his safe. The teens then allegedly ransacked Allender's home, stealing money and guns.

Officers found the home in disarray with furniture overturned, a door ripped off the hinges, a desk emptied and papers thrown around and two safes open and emptied. Police noted there was blood throughout the home.

Rodney Allender was found in his garage by his son and his girlfriend, lying on his side with a severe head injury. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Curtis was arrested on March 1 after being questioned by police and admitting his part of the crime. Flynn and Hicks had fled to Ironton, Ohio and were arrested the same day. They were then extradited back to Lawrence County.

According to Ironton Police Chief Dan Johnson, an officer remembered seeing the white 1995 Chevrolet Beretta used in the crime during his patrols.

Chief Johnson says Flynn and Hicks fled, leading police on a car chase through parts of the city and into a residential area, where officers stopped the pursuit after the Beretta almost hit several children.

Officers lost sight of the vehicle, but soon found it again. The teens stopped the car and then fled on foot and police found them hiding in the back of a van.

According to Hicks and Flynn's probable cause affidavits, a Bedford North Lawrence High School student told police that Flynn, Hicks and a third person had come to his house on Feb. 27 and bragged how they had "robbed a big guy who lived in the middle of nowhere."

According to the witness, Flynn said he had used a stun gun and a taser on the man.

Flynn then threatened the witness, saying if he told anyone Flynn would harm, even kill him.

A face covering that Hicks had been wearing was found in the woods near Empire Quarry. The teens also allegedly hid the gun used to shot Allender in the area of the cemetery near the quarry. But the teens allegedly returned and retrieved the gun, but couldn't find Hick's mask.

A search warrant was issued for the white 1995 Chevrolet Z26 Beretta Flynn was driving on Feb. 27. The teens used the vehicle to transport the money and the guns from the crime scene in Heltonville back to Bedford. The same vehicle was driven to Ohio.

Flynn, is facing charges of murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class A felony; burglary resulting in bodily injury, Class A felony; conspiracy to commit burglary, Class B felony; and use of a firearm, a sentencing enhancement.

Hicks is facing charges of murder, robbery resulting in bodily injury, Class A felony; and conspiracy to commit burglary, Class B felony.

Both have pretrial hearings in Lawrence Superior Court II on January 5, 2015 at 3 p.m.

But these were not the only teens arrested in February.

Bloomington Teen Arrested For Armed Robbery.

17-year-old Philip Jacob of Bloomington was accused of the armed robbery of the CVS Pharmacy in Bloomington and was also a suspect in the armed robbery of Marsh on February 17. He was also accused of the attempted robbery of the Journey's store in College Mall on January 31 and will be charged as an adult.

The Bloomington Police officers arrested Philip Jacob on Feb. 18 for resisting law enforcement after he was reportedly seen huffing cans of keyboard cleaner at the downtown bus terminal.

Police found a BB gun designed to look like a Beretta 9 millimeter handgun in Jacob's book bag along with four cans of compressed air keyboard cleaners, white gloves and blue latex gloves similar to those worn by the second suspect during the robbery at CVS South and by both suspects during the robbery at Marsh North, according to court documents.

According to BPD Sgt. Steve Kellams, Jacob was charged as a juvenile with resisting law enforcement and was released to his parents.

But on February 20th, an Avon police officer arrested Jacob after he allegedly robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint.

Avon police found Jacob was armed with another BB gun similar to the one he had during the other crimes.

The Monroe County Prosecutor's Office has decided to charge Jacob as an adult, because the crimes were committed with what the law considers a deadly weapon.

Bloomfield Student Arrested For Making Threats At School

A Bloomfield student was arrested after a threat was found on a bathroom wall during the Junior High lunch time.

According to Superintendent Dan Sichting, the School Safety Protocol was initiated after the threat was found. He could not provide information on what the details of the threat were.

Officers from the Bloomfield Police Department and members of the Alcohol and Firearms from Crane arrived at the school and conducted an assessment, and deemed the school did not need evacuated. Sichting says at no time were the students or staff in danger.

Then around 2:30 p.m. Bloomfield Police arrested a female student.

There was some good news in February.

"The Voice" Of The BNL Stars Myron Rainey Honored

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Myron Rainey, "The Voice" for the Bedford North Lawrence Stars for 34 years, was honored at halftime during a Boys basketball game.

In appreciation of his dedication and commitment to Lawrence County, the broadcast booth at the high school was renamed "The Myron Rainey Broadcast Booth."

Rainey began broadcasting BNL games in 1980 along side of former Bedford Mayor John Williams and eventually became the anchor play-by-play announcer and the voice of the stars.

Honoring Rainey were Myron's family, the past and present co-broadcasters of 1340 AM WBIW and Super Oldies 105.5 WQRK and former Bedford Mayor John Williams.

It was Myron's voice that boomed throughout the Stone City mall in 1983 and Myron's voice who described how #32 Damon Bailey led the Stars to the Boy's State Championship in 1990.

It was Myron's voice that again led the play-by-play of the Lady Stars State Championship in 1983 and 1991.

It was Myron's voice that painted the picture for radio fans of not only one Bailey but two, Damon and his daughter Alexa during the State Championship last year.

And it was Myron's voice that congratulations the BNL Lady Stars on another regional title in February 2014.

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