Jackson County Prosecutor rules officer-involved shooting justified

SEYMOUR – The Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant cleared Seymour Police officers Blake McCrary and Cody Tetlow in the officer-involved shooting that occurred claimed the life of 43-year-old Jason S. Cline, of Beech Grove, on November 1, 2020.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s office released a full report on Friday regarding the findings in the police action shooting which was investigated by the Indiana State Police detectives.

The police-involved shooting occurred at 8:27 p.m. November 1, 2020, following a theft at Walmart Super Center in Seymour.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant

In summary, (page 17 of his report), Prosecutor Chalfant stated, “Considering all available evidence, it is clear pursuant to Indiana Law that the use of deadly force by Officers McCrary and Teltow of the Seymour Police Department was justifiable in defense of themselves and each other given the actual deadly force threat posed by Jason Cline and there is no criminal liability on the part of Officers McCrary and Teltow.”

Below is a summary listed by the Jackson Count Prosecutors Office:

This is a summary of the written report of the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s findings regarding an officer-involved shooting which occurred on November 1, 2020, in the City of Seymour, Indiana, that resulted in the death of Jason S. Cline, a 43-year-old white male.

The investigation, conducted by detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post, determined that on November 1, 2020, at approximately 8:27 p.m., the Seymour Police Department was contacted by an employee from the Walmart Store located at 1600 East Tipton Street in Seymour.

The employee reported that an adult male, later determined to be Cline, stole a cart full of merchandise from the store with an approximate value of $700.

Seymour Police Department Officers Blake McCrary and Cody Teltow responded to the area. Officer Teltow located Cline with the stolen merchandise near the Speedway Gas Station along US 50 (Tipton Street). Cline immediately fled on foot from Officer Teltow.

Cline ran northbound across US 50 into a ditch in front of Taco Bell where Officer Teltow caught up to him. Officer McCrary also caught up to the pair as Officer Teltow was attempting to place Cline into custody.

The investigation determined that Cline produced a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber handgun and pointed it at Officer Teltow. As a result, both officers fired their handguns at Cline. Cline was struck by ten rounds fired by the officers.

It was later determined that the handgun possessed by Cline had recently been stolen and that Cline faced a lengthy prison term if caught due to his status as a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.

Officer Cline was given immediate medical attention and transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where he passed away from the injuries he received.

Both officers were placed on administrative leave after the incident, which is standard procedure.

At the conclusion of the ISP investigation, the case along with all laboratory reports was presented to Jackson County Prosecutor Jeffrey A. Chalfant for review.

On Friday, the undersigned filed a 20-page document summarizing his findings after reviewing all evidence, witness statements, documents, and laboratory reports.

Both officers have returned to duty.

The Prosecutor Chalfant’s full report can be read here.