In case you missed it – December 19

New charges filed against mother in 1-year-old’s death

GREENFIELD — As the investigation into Zoey Wagoner’s death continues, prosecutors have filed new charges against the child’s mother, saying she violated an order from the Henry County Department of Child Service that barred Matthew Wagoner from having contact with her children.

Jessica Wagoner signed Department of Child Services safety plans three times agreeing to keep her children away from her husband, who police say was the last person to see their 1-year-old daughter alive, court records state.

Both Matthew Wagoner, 31, and Jessica Wagoner, 33, were charged with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death after Zoey died at their Greenfield home May 28. Coroners ruled her death a homicide after medical reports showed she sustained multiple blunt-force trauma injuries, including lacerations to her liver that police believe were caused by someone stomping on her, court documents state.

Now, Jessica Wagoner faces an additional Level 1 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death along with two Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent for endangering her two other children, court documents state.

Couple faces drug charges after surveillance, raid

GREENFIELD — Monday, prosecutors filed 10 drug-related felony charges against Brian Duvall, 22, and his 18-year-old girlfriend following a raid of the home they were renting in the 200 block of West South Street in Greenfield.

Duvall and Halee Helsley were home during the raid early Dec. 11 and were initially held on misdemeanor charges related to drug possession. But on Monday, the list of charges grew to include felonies, court records state.

Duvall faces eight felony charges — three counts of possession of narcotics, two counts of dealing narcotic drugs, one count of corrupt business influence, one count of dealing marijuana and one count of maintaining a common nuisance. He also is charged with two misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana.

Helsley faces two felonies — dealing marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance — and one misdemeanor, possession of marijuana.

Police say they were watching Duvall for weeks, waiting to catch the man they believed was selling drugs from his Greenfield home.

Lawmakers hope to fast-track bill in advance of low scores

HANCOCK COUNTY — Local lawmakers say they expect to fast-track a bill in January that would shield educators from being negatively affected by ISTEP results, which are anticipated to plummet.

Scores from the assessment, which was administered to students in Grades 3 through 8 last spring, are expected to drop 24 percentage points in mathematics and 16 points in language arts, according to projections from the Indiana Department of Education.

Administrators, teachers and parents have heavily criticized the test, which is based on more rigorous standards than recent years. Teacher pay and performance evaluations hinge on how their students fare on the test.

The Indiana Department of Education is expected to release scores in January, months later than initially planned — and on the heels of allegations some of the tests might have been improperly scored.

State Sen. Mike Crider and Rep. Bob Cherry, both Greenfield Republicans, said they plan to act quickly in the first weeks of the legislative session that starts in January to find a resolution to protect schools from ISTEP results. Both lawmakers are supportive of a bill proposed by House Education Committee chairman Robert Behning, an Indianapolis Republican, which calls for a one-year freeze on how results are factored into teacher evaluations.

Pair of inmates overdose at county’s corrections facility

GREENFIELD — Two inmates on work release from Hancock County Community Corrections were receiving treatment at a local hospital Monday after they overdosed on drugs they sneaked into the facility, officials said.

Greenfield Fire Territory medics were called to the facility in the 200 block of East Main Street in Greenfield on Dec. 13, after workers found a man who appeared to be sick, but the call was changed to an overdose after drug paraphernalia was discovered in the man’s cell, according to police radio traffic.

Both men, whose names have not been released, were taken to Hancock Regional Hospital. One has since been released by doctors and booked into the Hancock County Jail. The other still is receiving treatment at the hospital.

The inmates are believed to have used Spice, a form of synthetic marijuana, and bath salts, a synthetic stimulant.