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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1:00 am


Muncie man receives 25 years for torture

Associated Press

MUNCIE – A second central Indiana man has been sentenced in a case in which a woman was tortured with a nail gun.

The (Muncie) Star Press reports 37-year-old Benitez McCullum was ordered Monday to spend 25 years in prison. McCullum had pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and criminal confinement charges.

Two women and a man were held against their will in a Muncie building in August 2016. Staples or nails were shot into the legs, abdomen and foot of one of the women.

Robert A. Walton was found guilty in September of criminal confinement, battery with a deadly weapon and other charges. He was sentenced to 39 years in prison.

McCullum, also of Muncie, was accused of hitting the male victim in the head with a shovel.

Officers cleared in shooting death

Authorities say the chief and assistant chief at a southern Indiana police department were justified in using deadly force in the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old man.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant on Monday released the results of an investigation into the April 3 incident in Brownstown.

Barry Rucker of Brownstown was shot while resisting arrest outside the city's police department.

The probe showed Rucker was threatening an ex-girlfriend at gunpoint when someone called 911. Police said Chief Tom Hanner and Assistant Chief Joe Kelly arrived and tried to subdue Rucker with a stun gun, but that didn't work. Rucker was shot after pointing a handgun at Hanner and refusing commands to drop the weapon.

Brownstown is about 70 miles south of Indianapolis.

Rain puts farmers behind schedule

Persistent rainfall has put farmers well behind schedule in planting their crops.

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reports that U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show just 3% of this year's expected corn crop was planted as of early May, which is far below the five-year average of 35%. Indiana's prime planting period to maximize corn production in most of the state was from April 20 to May 10.

The planting season began slowly last year before roughly 60% of the state's corn crops were planted in early May during a two-week period.

Federal data indicates that just 1% of soybeans have been planted in Indiana as of early May, which is substantially less than the 12% five-year average. But Indiana farmers can plant soybeans until early June.

DePauw president plans to resign

The president of DePauw University says he plans to step down at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

The announcement came Monday from Mark McCoy, who has served as president of the Greencastle liberal arts school since 2016. He said in a statement that administrators have focused on “building a strong foundation for the continued investment in our student experience, people and campus.”

McCoy says he believes “new leadership can build on this stronger foundation.” The school will search for his replacement.

Faculty members in November approved a resolution of no confidence in McCoy over finances and his response to racist messages found last year.

The school in February announced job cuts as part of a restructuring.