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August: Two Men Behind Bars For Murder, Another Charged

Last updated on Friday, December 30, 2016

(UNDATED) - In August 2016 juries put two men behind bars after they were found guilty of murder and a third man was charged with murder.

Sullivan County Superior Court Judge sentenced 33-year-old Johnus Orr of Sullivan for the murders of his stepsister Tiffani Adams and her unborn fetus.

Adams was eight-months pregnant with a baby boy when she was killed in November 2014. The baby was named Brynsten Edward Adams.

Orr was sentenced to 60 years for each count of murder. The sentences will run consecutively for a total of 120 years behind bars.

Tiffani Adams was reported missing from Sullivan on November 5, 2014. Her body was found by a farmer in a corn field northeast of Sullivan on December 30, 2014.

An autopsy determined that she died of ligature strangulation, and that her unborn son died of suffocation due to the death of his mother.

Investigators believed Orr borrowed a vehicle, picked up Adams in Sullivan on the day she went missing, and that he took her to the area where her body was later found. Evidence in the cornfield showed that there was a struggle between Adams and her attacker. Police say Orr strangled Adams with her own jacket.

Prosecution presented evidence after recovering Adams' cell phone from Sullivan Lake, near the area where her body was found. Calls and text messages sent from and to that cell phone helped connect Orr to the cornfield where her body was found.

Orr made no statements during the sentencing hearing, but his attorney John Kesler says his client maintains his innocence and plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.


After about 5 hours of deliberating, a Brown County jury found 51-year-old Daniel Messel guilty of murdering 22-year-old Indiana University student Hannah Wilson.

A motorist found Wilson's body on April 24, 2015 in a parking lot laying face down at State Road 45 and Plum Creek Road near Helmsburg. Wilson had been reported missing the day before. Messell's cell phone was found next to her body.

An autopsy determined that Wilson had died from blunt force injuries to the back of her head.


Also in August, 29-year-old Joe Hambel was charged with two counts of murder following the deaths of 37-year-old Valerie Dicus and 36-year-old Joe Hobson.

Hamble told police that he killed Hobson with a .32 caliber handgun saying that 'he just took care of one of Washington County's biggest drug problems."

Dicus died of a single gunshot wound and Hobson died of multiple gunshot wounds. Hambel told police he accidentally shot Dicus.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Hambel, of Salem, drove to a home at 304 West Small Street, Apartment 13 early August 20 because he believed Hobson and 37-year-old Valerie Dicus, who is related to Hambel, were dealing drugs. Hambel had nephew, who was living in the home.

Hambel was arrested by the Indiana State Police and charged with two counts of murder. The judge has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He trial is scheduled from May 2, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

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