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Homeland Security To Provide Extra Security In High-Profile Sullivan County Murder Trial
Updated February 17, 2016 7:14 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SULLIVAN CO.) - Police will have extra security measures in place for the high-profile murder trial of Johnus Orr.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security announced this week that they will be assisting the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office by providing screening equipment.

Johnus Orr, who is accused of murdering his step-sister Tiffanie Adams and her unborn son, is set to face a jury of his peers on March 7.

Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom says heightened security is needed because "murder trials are not common in Sullivan County and emotions are running high on both sides." IDHS will be providing two walk-through metal detectors so law enforcement officers can screen those attending the trial. One will serve as the primary screening device and the second will be a backup. The north entrance to the courthouse will also be restricted.

Orr, of Sullivan, is accused of strangling his step-sister. He is charged with two counts of murder. Adams was 8 months pregnant when she was killed and Orr was also charged with the death of the unborn baby boy.

Officials have not released any information in regards to what was the motive behind the murder. Adams had been reported missing by her family on November 7, 2014 after she left to go to her mother's home and never showed up.

Tiffanie and her boyfriend were at her step-father's home the morning of November 5 when he left for the store. When he got back, Tiffanie was gone.

The boyfriend said she went to her mother's home about 75 yards away.

Cell phone records obtained by police show that Tiffanie's cell phone called Bruce Adams' home phone but Bruce stated that he "could not make out what was going on over the phone."

The probable cause then stated Tiffanie's phone called Bruce Adams' home phone again at 12:59 p.m. on November 5 and he heard what he described as, "carrying on." Bruce told police it sounded like Tiffanie's phone "got snatched out of her hand."

Brian and Tiffanie's mother, Christina Orr, told police that they were not home nor had they seen Tiffanie on November 5.

Brian Orr did report that a trail camera he used for security purposes on the front porch of his home was "operational on November 5 because when he and his wife returned home at approximately 1 p.m. to retrieve tools, he noticed the camera case door was still securely fastened by a piece of wire that he had placed there.

But, when Brian Orr got back around 4 p.m., the wire securing the door was missing and the SD card in the camera was gone. Police say a new card had been inserted into the camera on November 6.

Christina Orr told police that she knew of allegations that Johnus Orr had raped Tiffanie when he was supposed to be giving her a ride home from a party in 2013. She also stated Johnus had previously attempted to rape her as well.

Early in the investigation, officials had requested Tiffanie's cell phone be 'pinged.' Verizon reported the the phone was in the area of County Road 300 North and County Road 175 East in Sullivan County.

On December 30, officials responded to that area after a farmer reported finding a body in a cornfield just east of County Road 325 East, just north of County Road 300 North.

An autopsy was performed the following day at Terre Haute Regional Hospital and, using dental records, the coroner was able to confirm the body was Tiffanie Adams.

The coroner's report states that Tiffanie was 32 weeks pregnant at the time of her death and that a male fetus was viable (meaning the child could have lived on his own outside of the womb). DNA testing to prove who fathered Tiffanie Adams' child were taken but those results have not been made public.

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