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Flynn Pleads Guilty To Murder
Updated February 27, 2015 4:45 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BEDFORD) - 20-year-old Taylor Flynn of Bedford plead guilty in Lawrence County Superior Court II Monday afternoon to the murder of Rodney Allender.

Flynn is one of three accused of murdering Rodney Allender on February 27, 2014 at Allender's Heltonville home. He will be sentenced on April 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Flynn was facing felony charges of murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and burglary resulting in bodily injury. He accepted a plea agreement and plead guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit burglary and an enhancement of using a firearm in the commission of the crimes. Judge William Sleva has taken the plea agreement under advisement.

The maximum sentence for murder is 65 years, for conspiracy to commit burglary 10 years and with the enhancement of using a firearm 5 years can be added to the sentence.

His attorney John Boren addressed the court with what happened the days before and on the day of the murder with Flynn admitting to the crimes.

Flynn admitted that days leading up to Allender's murder he and co-defendant 17-year-old Dillon Hicks had staked out Allender's home at 1758 Dutch Ridge Road on several occasions. The teens believed Allender had a large amount of money in safes inside the home and guns they planned to steal.

Then on February 27, 2014 Flynn dressed up like a girl and armed with rifle knocked on Allender's door. When Allender opened the door, Flynn shot Allender in the leg.

That is when co-defendant 19-year-old Austin Curtis struck Allender in the head with a baseball bat.

"There was a struggle between the four of you," Boren told the court. "And Mr. Allender was hit in the head and face."

Curtis testified during his sentencing that he struck Allender once in the legs and once in the head. Hicks, armed with an air-rifle, also hit Allender during the struggle and Flynn hit Allender in the head with the rifle butt.

According to an autopsy report Allender died from a closed head injury and blunt force injuries.

But before Allender died, the men tied him up with duct tape and repeatedly hit and tased Allender until he gave them the combinations to his safe.

They then ransacked the home, stealing money and guns.

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

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.

Curtis was arrested on March 1, 2014 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.

Hicks and Flynn's Probable Cause Affidavits

A Bedford North Lawrence High School student told police that Flynn, Hicks and and third person had come to his house on February 27, 2014 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 February 27, 2014. 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.

Curtis was sentenced to 55 years in prison with 10 suspended. Curtis, who was represented by Bloomington Attorney Sam Shapiro, must also provide a complete and truthful account of what happened the night Rodney Allender was murdered, including the roles of the two co-defendants - Hicks and Flynn. If he fails to cooperate, the plea agreement will be null and void and Curtis could face a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.

Hicks is scheduled to appear in court on March 9 for a pretrial conference.

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