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June 2017: Two Business Go Up In Flames, Man Found Guilty Of Murder, State Takes Over I-69, Campbellsburg Family Murdered
Updated January 2, 2018 9:56 AM
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(UNDATED) - In June 2017, two businesses were destroyed by fire, a Marengo man was found guilty of murder, state takes over I-69 stretch from Bloomington To Martinsville and a Campbellsburg family was murdered with the killer committing suicide.

Bloomington Flooring Business Destroyed by Fire

A family flooring business, Bounds and McPike Flooring, went up in flames in the 2900 block of West Third Street in Bloomington.

When the Bloomington Fire Department arrived flames were shooting through the roof and firefighters went on a defensive attack.

Ellettsville Fire Department responded to the scene with their aerial truck along with firefighters from Perry Clear Creek and Van Buren Fire Department.

Heavy equipment was called in to knock down the last remaining walls as the last remnants went up in smoke.

The business is owned by Brad and Stephanie Bounds and has been in the family for more than 30 years. They employ 15 full-time employees and contract work out. Bounds said he will rebuild.

State Takes Over I-69 Stretch from Bloomington To Martinsville

On June 16th the state announced an agreement to take control of construction of the 21-mile stretch of I-69 from Bloomington to Martinsville, an admission that its touted public-private partnership failed.

The agreement terminates a contract with I-69 Development Partners, the private company responsible for designing and building I-69 Section 5 and maintaining it for 35 years. The move comes after multiple delays, much frustration for drivers in Bloomington and the near-insolvency of a key company involved in the project.

The agreement would settle all disputes and allow the Indiana Finance Authority to assume direct control of the project, which was about 60 percent finished.

The project was supposed to be completed by October 2016, but has been delayed four times since construction started. The new estimated completion date is August 2018, nearly two years late.

John Carpenter Stands Trial For Murder

John Robert Carpenter faced a jury of his peers in Orange County Circuit Court.

On June 30th, Carpenter, 30, of Marengo, was convicted on two counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and being a habitual offender.

Carpenter was found guilty of killing 56-year-old Nicky Fields and 25-year-old Corey Michael Harris, who were shot to death at Fields' home. He is also charged with shooting then 29-year-old Daniel Smitson in the mouth at Field's home on Sandy Hook Road in Paoli. The crimes happened on June 23, 2014.

He was sentenced to the maximum of a 195 years in prison.

Two other men were also charged with the crime.

James Davidson of Marengo pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea deal to a count of robbery with serious bodily injury, a Class A felony. The agreement says two counts of murder will be dismissed and that the prosecution will not pursue a habitual offender charge.

The plea deal limits his sentence to 40 years with the Indiana Department of Correction with no time suspended.

Elbert Brooks also accepted a plea agreement. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison on one count of murder, 30 years for attempted murder and 15 years for robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. A second murder count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

At 1:05 p.m. on June 23, 2014 a passer-by alerted police to a man lying near the roadway in front of a home in the 2200 block of Sandy Hook Road.

According to court documents, the day before he died, Fields expressed concern that Carpenter was out to hurt him. Those documents also indicate that what happened inside the mobile home was a robbery gone wrong.

Fields' body was found inside the home. Harris was found outside, as was Smitson. Both Fields and Harris suffered gunshot wounds to the head and died at the scene. Smitson was shot underneath his neck, the bullet went above his mouth and it came out his eye.

Smitson was able to tell police that three men in a red and gray Dodge truck came to the home and began shooting with a small-caliber handgun.

Police discovered a truck matching Smitson's description was registered to Carpenter.
Brooks admitted going to Field's home with Carpenter and Davidson to get meth. He stayed in the vehicle when Carpenter went into the home and Davidson stayed outside the residence.

Brooks told police he heard yelling and two gunshots from inside the home, and Carpenter and Davidson left the home, carrying a blanket with items inside it.

Brooks told police he saw a man walking toward the roadway, heard a gunshot and saw the man fall. All three men were arrested within days of the shooting.

Fire Destroys Country Woodworking In Odon

A fire destroyed Lydia Wagler and Leroy and Mary Wagler's Country Woodworking located in Odon.

It's unknown what exactly caused the fire but it has been determined it was not suspicious.

Campbellsburg Family Murdered, Killer Commits Suicide

On June 4th, 14-year-old Austin Newlin, was murdered in his home along with his parents, Kelly and Danny Newlin. They had all been shot to death in their home at 5582 South Beck's Mill Road, east of Salem.

Austin would have entered his freshmen year at West Washington High School.

After finding the bodies police began to search for 47-year-old Richard Lee Burton Jr. who was living with the family and evidence found at the scene indicated he was the person involved in the killings.

On June 5th, shortly after 8 a.m., the Monroe County Sheriff's Department received a tip that Burton's Dodge Ram pickup was parked at the Blackwell Horse Camp in Monroe County near State Road 446. Deputies found Burton dead in the cab from a self-inflected gunshot wound.

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