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August: Oolitic Deputy Marshal Pleads Guilty, Resigns; Shoals Man Arrested In Double Murder; Teen Drowns; Three Die After Suffering Burns In House Fire
Updated December 31, 2015 8:48 AM
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freedom family killed from burns suffered in house fire.jpg
Dan Reynolds, his wife, Joy Reynolds, and her 11-year-old son, Bailey Little
Graden McFarlan.jpg
Graden McFarlan
Lonnie Johnson.jpg
Lawrence County Police Sgt. Lonnie Johnson
nathan baker.jpg
Nathan Baker
bill allen.jpg
Former Oolitic Town Marshal Bill Allen

(UNDATED) - In August, an Oolitic deputy marshal pleaded guilty and resigns from the force; a Shoals man is accused of double homicide; a teen drowns in Williams a toxicology reports says he had over-the-counter drugs in his system; and a Freedom family dies from burns suffered in house fire.

Three Die From Burns Suffered In House Fire

Investigators could not determine the cause of a house fire at 2609 Firecrest Lane in Freedom that left three people with fatal burns.

The officially cause of the August 5 fire in Franklin Township, Owen County, was ruled undetermined.

The fire claimed the lives of three people - Dan Reynolds, his wife, Joy Reynolds, and her 11-year-old son, Bailey Little.

Early the morning of August 5, Owen Valley Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Frye was driving to work on U.S. 231 when he noticed an orange glow and billowing black smoke in the distance. He called 911 at 6:06 a.m.

Joy Reynolds and her son were in the front yard, seriously burned over most of their bodies. Dan Reynolds was found on Dunn Road, where he had walked or crawled for help. An ambulance going to the scene came across him collapsed alongside the road.

Due to the destructive nature of the fire and the extensive damage to the structure, there was not enough evidence for investigators to determine a definitive cause or area of origin.

A propane gas explosion, initially suspected as a cause was ruled out along with arson. The temperature inside reached more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Teen Drowned in White River Slough Near Williams

Lawrence County police took the lead in the death investigation of 15-year-old Graden McFarlan.

The teen's body was discovered shortly before 11 a.m. on August 8 after a fisherman discovered the body in the White River in Williams and contacted police. McFarlan's body was pulled from the water a short time later at the slough near State Road 450.

An autopsy was performed and Deputy Coroner John Sherrill says McFarlan drowned. But in October police learned from a toxicology report that two over-the-counter drugs contributed to his death.

Branham says both dextromethophan, a cough suppressant, and chlorpheniramine, a decongestant, were found in McFarlan's system. Items associated with those over-the-counter drugs were found in the vehicle located near where his body was found.

Oolitic Man Arrested After Stabbing Fellow Employee

An Oolitic man was arrested August 14 after he allegedly stabbed a fellow employee.

According to a Bloomington police report, officers were called to Transitional Services Inc., in the 1900 block of Liberty Drive after an employee reported 21-year-old Justin Ryan Reynolds became upset about not being allowed to sit next to his girlfriend and pulled out a pocketknife, threatening to hurt himself if he didn't get his way.

When another employee tried to calm Reynolds down, he allegedly stabbed the man in the arm.

Additional employees were able to calm Reynolds down and take the knife before police arrived.

Reynolds was arrested on preliminary felony charge of battery with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor charge of battery.

Police say the injured employee was transported to the hospital and was treated and released.

Reynolds pleaded not guilty and is being held at the Monroe County Jail on a $7,000 bond awaiting a trial date.

Kyle Brown Steps Down As Leader of Boys & Girls Club Of Lawrence County

Kyle Brown stepped down as leader of the the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County. His last day as chief professional officer was August 28.

Brown was CPO since April 2013 following 23 years working for the City of Bedford.

Brown directed the organization as it became a unified club following the merger of the Thornton Memorial Boys Club and Limestone Girls Club.

Lawrence County Sgt. To Receive Commendation For Life-Saving Efforts

Lawrence County Police Sgt. Lonnie Johnson was honored for saving a man's life at Golden Corral on August 8.

Sgt. Johnson was having breakfast at Golden Corral and had just paid for his meal and was rounding the corner when a couple of men yelled at him to help.

The man was not breathing and Sgt. Johnson began CPR, while fellow officer Jim Sloan ran to the police car to get a CPR assist device.

The man, who had suffered a heart attack, began breathing again and was rushed to the hospital.

Johnson received a commendation for his quick life-saving actions.

Shoals Man Arrested In Double Murder

On August 26, a Shoals man was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.

Indiana State police says 33-year-old Nathan Baker was charged with the murders of 52-year-old Tom Tharp and 82-year-old Alan Sims, both of Shoals.

Baker was arrested after leading Lawrence County police on a high-speed pursuit on Ind. 450 near Fayetteville. Baker lost control of the stolen vehicle, which belonged to Tharp, in a curve near Armstrong Station Road.

The bodies were discovered on August 27, at a home on Fred Sims Road, just north of Dover Hill near Trinity Springs, after a welfare check was done by a sheriff's deputy to check on his well being.

The first man, Sims, was found in the garage. The body of Tharp, was found around 4 p.m. near the original crime scene buried under debris in a garden area. Both men had died from a single gunshot wound.

A jury trial is scheduled for January 25, through February 12, 2016 at 9 a.m.

Oolitic Deputy Marshal Pleads Guilty, Resigns From Force

On August 28, Oolitic Deputy Marshal Bill Allen, who was charged with three counts of child molesting, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in Lawrence Superior Court I.

Allen in a plea agreement pled guilty to a Class D felony charge of dissemination of matter harmful to a minor or providing the girl with a sexual device. In exchange that the other felony charges of having sexual intercourse, performing sexual deviate conduct and fondling a then 13-year-old girl be dropped.

Allen was suspended from duty with pay pending the results of the criminal investigation.

In September Allen was sentenced to 2.5 years on probation. Judge Williams Sleva ordered 1.5 years to be spent on supervised probation, followed by a year on unsupervised probation. The same day Allen resigned from the Oolitic Police Department



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