In case you missed it – December 24

Details released in fatal accident

GREENFIELD — Local police have released more details about a Tuesday crash that resulted in the death of a local World War II veteran.

Byron Newhouse, 93, of Fortville, said he never saw Ray Crickmore, 91, as Crickmore attempted to cross West Main Street at 6 p.m. Tuesday, just east of the intersection with Jefferson Boulevard.

Crickmore of Greenfield was walking north when he was struck by the right front bumper of Newhouse’s vehicle, according to an accident report. Officials said Crickmore was crossing the street to help a relative who’d been locked out of a vehicle nearby.

Police and fire department medics who responded to the scene called for a helicopter to rush Crickmore to an Indianapolis trauma center. A Greenfield Fire Territory ambulance drove Crickmore to Hancock Regional Hospital, where a medical helicopter flew him to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, police said.

Crickmore died from blunt force trauma, the Marion County coroner told local police.

Man pleads guilty to manslaughter

GREENFIELD — Joseph Baker called 911 to report a man with whom he’d had a dispute was trying to slash his tires moments before Baker took matters into his own hands and ran over the man with his car, killing him, prosecutors said.

Baker, 28, of Greenwood, accepted a plea deal Tuesday, Dec. 20, in which he agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Duane Begley of New Palestine; Baker, 564 Shady Brook Heights, was scheduled to go to trial on a murder charge next month.

Prosecutors didn’t have the 911 tape when Baker was arrested and charged with murder; after hearing the recording, they concluded the act was done in the heat of the moment; Indiana law requires some evidence of pre-planning to convict a person of murder, Prosecutor Brent Eaton said.

The agreement is pending with the court; Hancock County Superior Court 1 Judge Terry Snow will determine how much of the recommended 30-year sentence Baker will spend in prison and how much will be served on probation. Prosecutors have agreed to ask for no more than 18 years and no less than 10 years in prison for Baker, Eaton added.

Baker was charged with murder in April after police said he intentionally ran over Begley, his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. Begley died April 17, days after he suffered severe head injuries in the incident, police said.

Report: Defendant needs evaluation

GREENFIELD — A local attorney has asked a judge to put his client, who is accused of rape, through a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Thomas Welch, 24, 519 N. Hamilton Ave., Indianapolis, was arrested earlier this year amid allegations he followed a young girl into a restroom at S & H Campground in Greenfield and touched her inappropriately over the summer, court records show.

But Christopher Smith, a Greenfield attorney who was appointed to represent Welch in court, said his client has trouble communicating his side of the story — evidence perhaps of a mental disability Welch’s family members told investigators the man had, according to court documents.

Welch faces a Level 1 felony count of child molesting — the highest-level criminal charge allowed for such a crime.