New Harmony resident Randy Terrell was sentenced by Posey County Superior Court Judge S. Brent Almon on March 1, 2013 to serve twenty-four (24) years executed at the Indiana Department of Corrections after finding Terrell guilty of Dealing in Methamphetamine and multiple Burglaries which occurred in New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana during the summer of 2012.
Posey County Sheriff’s Detective Thomas Latham, accompanied by New Harmony Town Marshall Scott Champlin, served a Search Warrant at the home of Randy and Teresa Terrell, located at 1019 E. North Street, in New Harmony, Indiana on August 16, 2013. The Search Warrant authorized the police to search Terrell’s home for jewelry that had been taken during a burglary of Karen Mathews’ New Harmony home a few days prior. Upon entering the home, Detective Latham immediately noticed an odor that is commonly associated with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. Detective Latham also saw various items in the home that appeared to be evidence that someone was both using methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine in the home. Latham notified Kenneth Rose, an Investigator with the Posey County Narcotic’s Unit, and a second Search Warrant was then obtained for Terrell’s home. This second Search Warrant authorized the police to search the home for evidence associated with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.
Latham’s search of the home revealed a large amount of jewelry that was later determined to be the property of other persons whose homes had been burglarized in the New Harmony area. Latham also discovered evidence that Terrell was actively involved in the dismantling of some of the jewelry so that it could be resold at stores in Posey and Vanderburgh Counties. Latham also found two (2) working air conditioners inside the home and determined that one of the units had been stolen out of a barn belonging to Terrell’s brother-in-law, Fred Eaton, and that the second unit had been stolen from a utility shed belonging to the Town of New Harmony.
Rose’s search of the home revealed evidence that Terrell was actively involved in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine both inside the home and in a shed at the rear of the property. Investigator Rose found multiple HCL generators, camping fuel, used coffee filters, sodium hydroxide and multiple empty blister packs of pseudoephedrine. Investigator Rose recognized all of those items as evidence commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Rose also found spoons with burnt residue and various pieces of burnt aluminum foil and he recognized those items as evidence that someone had been smoking methamphetamine in the home.
Latham and Town Marshall Champlin met with Terrell after his arrest and he agreed to provide an audio/video recorded statement. Terrell then admitted that he had burglarized Fred Eaton’s barn in July of 2012 and Karen Mathews’ home in August of 2012. Terrell also admitted that he had been “experimenting” with the manufacture of methamphetamine for his own use. The State of Indiana charged Terrell on August 20, 2012 in Posey County Superior Court, under cause number 65D01-1208-FB-358, with Count 1: Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony; Count 2: Possession of Chemical Reagents or Precursors with Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony; Count 3: Maintaining a Common Nuisance, a Class D Felony; Count 4: Burglary, a Class B Felony (involving Karen Mathews’ home); Count 5: Burglary, a Class C Felony (involving Fred Eaton’s barn); Count 6: Theft, a Class D Felony (involving the theft of Karen Mathews’ jewelry); and Count 7: Theft, a Class D Felony (involving the theft of an air conditioner, air compressor and various tools belonging to Fred Eaton). A Class A Felony carries a potential sentence of between six (6) and twenty (20) years, a Class C Felony carries a potential sentence of between two (2) and eight (8) years, and a Class D Felony carries a potential sentence of between six (6) months and three (3) years. Terrell has been an inmate in the Posey County Jail since his arrest on August 16, 2012.
On February 7, 2013, Terrell pled guilty as charged to Counts 1 through 7 without any “plea agreement” with the State of Indiana. A Sentencing Hearing was held before the Honorable Judge S. Brent Almon on March 1, 2013. After hearing witnesses and arguments from Terrell’s attorney, Donald Baier, and the State of Indiana, by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jonathan Parkhurst, Judge Almon sentenced Terrell to serve ten (10) years on Count 1, eighteen (18) months on Count 2, eighteen (18) months on Count 3, ten (10) years on Count 4, four (4) years on Count 5, eighteen (18) months on Count 6, and eighteen (18) months on Count 7. Judge Almon ordered that Terrell’s sentence for Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony (Count 1); Burglary, a Class B Felony (Count 4); and Burglary, a Class C Felony (Count 5) be served consecutively to each other for a total sentence of twenty-four (24) years to be served in the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Jonathan Parkhurst, Posey County Chief Deputy Prosecutor, argued during the Sentencing Hearing that Terrell deserved a lengthy prison sentence because he was a “thief, a home burglar and a methamphetamine cook”. Deputy Prosecutor Parkhurst also pointed out that Terrell had previously served time in prison after he was convicted of Criminal Confinement, a Class B Felony, in Vanderburgh County in 1997.
Deputy Prosecutor Parkhurst stated, “The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank all of our local law enforcement personnel, including Detective Latham, Town Marshall Champlin and Narcotic’s Investigator Kenneth Rose, for their time and effort in this particular criminal investigation and for helping to ensure that Randy Terrell will be made to pay for the crimes he committed”. Deputy Prosecutor Parkhurst also stated, “We hope and pray that New Harmony is now a little safer place to live and raise a family with Randy Terrell having been removed from that Community”. Prosecutor Travis Clowers stated, “We were given a very strong case to prosecute because of the hard work and professionalism shown by our local law enforcement personnel. We believe that twenty-four (24) years in prison was the appropriate sentence given Terrell’s prior criminal history and the crimes he committed”.