Bedford Police officer locate a murder suspect during a traffic stop

BEDFORD – Two men were arrested Saturday night after a Bedford Police officer stopped their vehicle at State Road 37 and Brock Lane after noticing the license plate light was not working.

Damien Tyler

The officer identified the driver as 42-year-old Damien Tyler, of Greencastle and his front-seat passenger 45-year-old James Stepter, of Terre Haute.

James Stepter

Tyler was a habitual traffic offender and was wanted on a warrant out of Vigo County on a charge of murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Officers then conducted a felony stop and immediately detained both men.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Terre Haute Police investigators state that Tyler was at a home in the 2200 block of First Avenue when 32-year-old Ronald Arrowsmith died from a gunshot wound to the head. 

While conducting a pat-down for weapons on Stepter, he informed the officer had had a meth pipe in his shoe.  The glass smoking device contained a powdery residue and was removed from Stepter’s right shoe. 

On Tyler police found a baggie containing meth.

During a search of a vehicle, officers located a black 9mm Ruger LC9s in a storage compartment between the front seats. Both Tyler and Stepter denied any knowledge of the firearm.

A pill bottle containing crystal meth and two glass smoking devices containing meth residue between the driver’s seat and the center console. A tube containing meth residue was located in the glove box, as well as a partial red straw containing meth residue, and a glass smoking device containing meth residue was located in the back passenger’s compartment. 

Stepter was arrested on charges of possession of meth in the presence of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Tyler was arrested on the outstanding murder warrant and new charges of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, possession of methamphetamine in the presence of a firearm, habitual traffic offender, carrying a handgun without a license, and possession of drug paraphernalia.