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February: Teen Pleads Guilty To Murdering Heltonville Man, Two Children Killed In Domestic Dispute
Updated December 31, 2015 8:18 AM
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jeremy gehl.jpg
Jeremy Gehl
Jeffrey Dyer.jpg
Jeffrey Dyer
taylor Flynn.jpg
Taylor Flynn

(UNDATED) - February saw a teen plead guilty to murdering a Heltonville man, a domestic dispute ended with the death of two children and their mother seriously injured and an Odon man was murdered with the suspect killing himself.

Teen Pleads Guilty To His Part In Murdering Heltonville Man

20-year-old Taylor Flynn of Bedford plead guilty to the murder of Rodney Allender in Lawrence County Superior Court II on February 23, 2015.

Flynn is one of three accused of murdering Rodney Allender on February 27, 2014 at Allender's Heltonville home.

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.

Flynn admitted that days leading up to Allender's murder that he and the 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, armed with rifle and dressed up like a girl, 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. The four struggled. Allender was struck in the head and face by all three teens.

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 and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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.

Curtis was sentenced to 55 years in prison with 10 suspended. Curtis 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 stand trial January 5, 2016 at 9 a.m.

Murder Suspect Commits Suicide

A man sought by police in Daviess County in connection with the homicide of Travis Woodruff was positively identified by Alabama authorities as the same person who committed suicide on I-10 near Mobile.

Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit says the Baldwin County coroner positively identified the victim as 40-year-old Jeffrey Dyer of Odon.

Police found the body of 33-year-old Woodruff outside of his home on Edwards Lane in Odon the night of February 17. According to an autopsy report Woodruff died from a shotgun wound.

Woodruff had been standing in front of a glass door when the shot went through the door and struck him. He then fell outside of the home where his body was later discovered.

The Daviess County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene and Dyer was identified as a person of interest.
The sheriff's department then put out a request for other agencies to be on the lookout for Dyer's black Ford F-150 with a volunteer fire department sticker in the rear window.

Deputies in Alabama spotted the vehicle on February 18 and stopped the vehicle on I-10.

As officers approached the truck, Dyer took out a shotgun and killed himself.

Two Children Die After Being Shot During Domestic Fight

6-year-old Leon Gehl and 3-year-old Addison Randolph were shot during a domestic fight that turned deadly on February 10, 2015.

Their mother, 33-year-old Melissa Randolph, suffered multiple stab wounds to her face and neck.

The couple's 1-year-old baby was unharmed during the incident.

After stabbing his wife and shooting his children, Jeremy Gehl committed suicide.

The incident happened at a home in the 500 block of North Helm Street in Paoli, where Randolph and her children were staying. According to Indiana State Police Melissa Randolph and Gehl were fighting over a family issue when the fight turned violent and Gehl attacked his wife with a knife. Gehl was at the home to pick up the children from his estranged wife.

Police say the children ran to their mother and that is when Gehl shot them and then turned the gun on himself. Gehl died on the way to the hospital.

Both children were flown by helicopter to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. Addison died a few hours later from her injuries. Leon Gehl was in critical condition.

The children's mother, was first taken to a Louisville Hospital and was then transferred to Kosair to be with her children.

After two days of no improvement in Leon's condition, Randolph had doctors take her son off life support on Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Leon was a kindergartener at Throop Elementary in Paoli.

Gehl was served with the protective order on February 25, 2013, with it expiring February 2014. The protective order prohibited Gehl from having direct or indirect contact with Randolph except as it related to the parties' minor children. In addition, the order outlined provisions of Gehl's time with the children, consistent with what is known as Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.

Gehl was ordered to stay away from Randolph's residence and place of employment. In issuing the order, the court found it was "necessary to bring about a cessation of the violence or the threat of violence" and that "domestic or family violence has occurred sufficient to justify the issuance of this order."

However, Indiana State Police say the two were living together at the North Helm Street address.

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