November 2020: Year in Review

(UNDATED) – In November 2020, a Bedford man was arrested after injuring a child, the Town of Oolitic hired a new deputy marshal and reserve marshal, a former Greene County Center Township Trustee was arrested, Emma Landstrom was selected as a Rising Star, Annette Norrick was appointed to fill the position of Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Oolitic, Jimmy Jones was named Bedford Parks Director, and a Bedford couple was arrested on child neglect charges after making their adoptive son live on the porch.

Bedford Man Arrested After Allegedly Injuring Child

Bedford Police officers arrested 28-year-old Casey Garrison after they stopped his vehicle on a traffic stop early Tuesday, November 4, 2020 at Lincoln Avenue and 4th Street.

Casey Garrison

Officers discovered Garrison was wanted on a warrant for child neglect.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department detectives began their investigation after a child was taken to IU Health Hospital after suffering fractured ribs a broken leg and bruises and a swollen humerus bone.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on September 17, 22, and 23, Garrison was caring for the child unsupervised.

Police did not release the name or age of the child.

On those dates the child fell from a Pack N’ Play, off a couch, and then off a kitchen counter.

Garrison told police he was the sole person responsible for the care of the child at the time the injuries happened.

After police completed their investigation they submitted the information to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and a warrant was issued for Garrison’s arrest.

Garrison does have a prior conviction of reckless homicide in 2009 that involved the death of 7-month-old Jamison Essick. Jamison was Garrison’s then-girlfriend’s son.

Garrison at the time of the incident, told police the baby had fell off a bed. He also told police he had been drinking and taking Klonopin at the time.

According to an autopsy report, the baby died from multiple skull fractures from blunt force trauma.

Garrison pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless homicide in May 2010.

Indiana State Police Arrest Former Greene County Center Township Trustee

Indiana State Police arrested Stephen C. Durham, a former Greene County Center Township Trustee, on charges of official misconduct and theft after a lengthy criminal investigation.  

After a complete audit and an execution of four search warrants, the findings revealed that more than $58,557.02 of funds had been misappropriated for purchases that did not come to or have any benefit to Greene County Center Township or its citizens. 

Oolitic Town Council Hires Deputy Town Marshal And Reserve Marshal

The Oolitic Town Council approved the hiring of Andrew Tillett as deputy marshal and John Potter as reserve marshal in November 2020.

Between the two they have more than 14 years law enforcement experience.

Andrew Tillett is sworn in as Oolitic Deputy Marshal.
John Potter is sworn in as Oolitic reserve officer.

Annette Norrick Appointed Oolitic Clerk-Treasurer

Annette Norrick has been appointed by the Lawrence County Republican Party to fill the position of Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Oolitic.

Annette Norrick

Norrick will replace Jessica Staggs, who will begin her role as Lawrence County Auditor on January 1, 2021.

Emma Landstrom Named Rising Star

The Indianapolis NBA All-Star Legacy Committee and the Indiana Pacers congratulated Emma Landstrom as being selected as a Rising Star through a nomination submitted by Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County.

Emma Landstrom

Landstrom, the daughter of Noah and Timber Browning, is one of 21 Rising Stars throughout Indiana to receive this recognition.

Bedford Couple Arrested After Making Adopted Son Live On Porch

Bedford Police officers arrested two people on Thursday, November 19, 2020, on charges of child neglect and domestic battery on a child under the age of 14.

On the night of September 11, 2020, officers were called to the 500 block of Shandell Drive after a request to do a welfare check on a 12-year-old male.

Melissa Carter

When police arrived they spoke with 46-year-old Melissa Carter. She told officers the boy was not home and staying with his grandparents in Fayetteville.

Christopher Carter

Melissa invited officers into her home to explain the situation along with her husband 46-year-old Christopher Carter.

Melissa took police to the porch area where her adopted 12-year-old son was “living.”

Police say the porch was not enclosed and had no roof. There were no screens or glass enclosure. There were several wooden chairs and a wooden swing on the porch. A green sleeping bag was left on one of the chairs. An electric fan was also on the porch.

When asked if the child lived on the porch, Melissa replied, “Well, by his actions, yes,” Christopher added “he lies, he steals, he cheats… and it’s a
survival technique.” They described the boy as being a “survivor” and having a “seared conscious.”

Christopher told police that he exercises his right to corporal punishment, but does not cause bruising or lasting damages to the boy. Christopher uses a paddle to “spank him on his hiney.” Christopher stated that he spoke with his attorney about having the stay on the porch, who cleared the idea. Christopher spoke of a conversation he had with the boy, telling him that if he cannot abide by the rules of the family, the boy would have to live outside until he is ready to follow the rules.

Christopher stated that when the boy has a breakdown, Melissa would “have to get cold water on him” to calm him down. He then mentioned
a video on his cellphone that he would share with officers.

Melissa told officers that the boy is allowed to roam throughout the backyard, but must stay within the fenced yard. If the boy leaves the yard without permission, he forfeits a meal.

Melissa told police that she brings the boy food outside and will have conversations with him on the porch. She described it as being similar to visitation at a jail. She told police the boy has been staying on the porch for approximately one week. He is allowed inside the home to use the restroom and shower.

Police then learned about the contents of a video. The video showed Melissa standing over the boy and holding him by the arms. Melissa is holding the boy down into a bathtub, head first. Melissa starts by using a green cup to pour water over the boy’s head. She then lifts him by the arms and places his head directly under the running faucet. She asked him several times “are you done?” but the boy did not reply using words. He continually screamed in discomfort. Melissa then told the boy to say “yes” and it would be over. The boy eventually muttered “yes” and Melissa lifted the boy from the tub and turned off the faucet.

Toward the end of the video, Christopher is heard narrating the video. He gets closer to the boy and says he will show the video to the boy’s teacher and school bus driver. “So she understands what we’re dealing with…but when you get home, you flip a switch. And this is (and says the boy’s name).” The video ends with Christopher and the boy having a back-and-forth about the boy getting sick. The video was recorded on Saturday September 5, 2020 at 6:01 p.m.

The couple explained to the officers that the boy was having a “meltdown” and this was a solution to calming him down. Christopher stated that the boy was being splashed with water, not being held underwater. Melissa stated the cold water helps to cool him off. The couple said the video was recorded because the couple wanted to have protection. Christopher did not want false claims to be made that the boy was being drowned.

Officers contacted the Department of Child Services and requested the child be detained due to the uncertainty of his treatment in the Carter household.

The information was sent to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and warrants were issued for the couple’s arrest.

Jimmy Jones Named Bedford Parks Director

In November 2020, Jimmy Jones was named Bedford Parks Director by Bedford Mayor Sam Craig.

Jimmy Jones

His hiring was approved by the Bedford Parks Board.