The jury finds Joshua Risinger guilty of murder

SALEM – An Orange County jury late Thursday night found Joshua Risinger guilty of murder, felony murder, and arson in the second murder trial in Washington Circuit Court.

The jury rendered their verdict at 9:45 p.m. after deliberating for more than five hours.

Judge Larry Medlock presided over the trial. Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin presented the case for the state and Attorney Ethan Bartanen defended Risinger.

 In December 2019, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction of 31-year-old Joshua Risinger, who was found guilty of intentionally setting fire to his own trailer in order to kill 62-year-old Jeffrey Givan, on March 14, 2017. Givan was disabled and unable to get out of the burning trailer.

Joshua Risinger’s trailer where Givan’s body was found.

Police say Risinger invited Givan, inside his trailer in the 220 block of Teresa Street in Southway Villa and later lit his home on fire. Firefighters found Givan dead in the burned home. The Kentucky Medical examiner who performed Givan’s autopsy testified Givan died of carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation.

In January 2019, Risinger was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The Court of Appeals ruled Risinger had his Miranda rights violated after police continued to ask questions after Risinger told them multiple times over the course of the interviews he didn’t want to talk anymore. Nonetheless, Risinger continued to answer questions and talk with police. Video footage of those interviews were shown in court.

The Appeals Court ruled Risinger’s statement was “an unequivocal invocation of his right to remain silent pursuant to Miranda, and the detectives’ continuation of questioning thereafter was a failure to scrupulously honor that right,” according to the December 9, 2020 decision.