Police offer $1,000 reward

GREENFIELD — Police are now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a Greenfield man accused of killing the passenger in his car in a drunken-driving crash.

Investigators recently announced that after nearly a month of searching, they got word Jason Phelps, 42, 640 S. State St., Greenfield, planned to turn himself into police. But a week has gone by, and Phelps has not come forward, Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche said.

Now, local officials have partnered with Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, which spreads word of open law enforcement cases in hopes of generating leads, to offer a reward for information that leads to Phelps’ arrest. They are asking Greenfield residents to come forward with any information they might have on Phelps’ whereabouts.

The crash happened just before 11:30 p.m. March 4.

Police said Phelps had a blood-alcohol content of 0.23 percent — nearly three times the legal driving limit of 0.08 – when he missed a curve on South State Road 9, lost control of his vehicle and rolled it several times, crashing into a home in the 600 block of south State Street.

His girlfriend, Dalene Charron, 45, of Greenfield, was riding in the front seat; she died from head and neck injuries days after the crash.

In the days that followed, prosecutors filed a Level 4 felony count of causing death while operating a vehicle while intoxicated against Phelps.

A warrant for Phelps’ arrest has been pending since March 24.

Phelps suffered a broken arm in the crash, and he hasn’t been seen locally since he was released from an Indianapolis hospital a day after the wreck. Investigators believe he has fled the area.

This is the second time Phelps has been accused of killing a person while under the influence behind the wheel.

In 2007, he admitted to using cocaine and marijuana before accidentally backing his truck over 75-year-old Inell Carter in a parking lot in Greenfield, causing fatal injuries.

Phelps pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resulting in the death of a person — a Class B felony — in that case, and he served time in prison as a result.

Phelps criminal history makes him a threat to public safety, Rasche said. He’s hopeful the reward money will serve as an incentive for someone to come forward.

The Level 4 felony count Phelps faces carries a penalty of up to 12 years in prison. If he is found guilty of being a habitual offender, his sentence could be increased to 32 years, officials said.

Call with tips

Callers who provide information to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana that leads to the arrest of Jason Phelps are eligible to receive a cash reward up to $1,000.

Those with information should call 317-262-8477.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.