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Monday, May 30, 2016

Sullivan man to be sentenced Tuesday in connection with Uptown Tavern shooting

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Sullivan man will be sentenced Tuesday morning in connection with a double-shooting incident in the parking lot of the Uptown Tavern in Dugger last March.

Timothy B. Kean, 35, pleaded guilty last Friday to two counts of attempted murder -- both Class A felonies in connection with the shooting of Patrick Ruff of Jasonville and Leighann Lovelace of Linton.

Both of the victims survived the incident.

Kean was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder, but one count was dropped in the plea deal.

The two victims, plus Harley D'Lee Ruff, daughter of Patrick Ruff, signed the plea agreement acknowledging approval of the terms.

Sentencing will be left to the discretion of Superior Court Judge Robert Springer at the 10:30 a.m. hearing. The judge will also decide whether the two counts will be served concurrently or consecutively.

A probable cause affidavit filed by Indiana State Police Det. T.C. Hanks shows the shooting happened in a gravel parking lot south of Main Street and east of Second St. -- next to the Uptown Tavern in Dugger.

A male witness told police he was walking out of the bar about 3:30 a.m. and heard a loud bang. He then heard a second shot and saw James B. Gardner's truck windshield getting shot as he was driving down the street, according to the affidavit.

Gardner immediately jumped out of his truck and confronted Kean, the shooter.

The male witness told police that Kean "raised the gun at Gardner, but the gun didn't do anything. Either because of malfunction or the shell not being ejected."

The male witness said Kean then left in his truck with Gardner following him in his truck. The two allegedly got into a fight at a residence located at 1024 South County Road 600E.

Hanks wrote in the affidavit that the male witness said, "Gardner was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but feels Tim (Kean) would have shot James (Gardner) too if the gun would have fired."

The male witness also told police that after the two drove away, he went to Ruff's truck and saw he had sustained a shotgun wound to the head. He described the gun as a single shot shotgun.

Lovelace told ISP Det. Harris Smith at the hospital that she didn't know why Kean opened gunfire.

Calling the incident "senseless," she stated, "Tim shot Ruff in the back of the head and then she saw Tim with the gun and she started running back toward the bar and Tim shot her. She described Ruff as a family friend and had no idea why Tim was shooting," Hanks wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Kean admitted shooting Ruff one time, but does not remember shooting Lovelace or Gardner's pickup, Hanks wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

"Kean finished up (the interview) by advising that he grabbed his gun and went to the Uptown with intent to shoot Pat Ruff and he was so enraged at the sight of Ruff driving his brother's new pickup with Leighann that he wanted him (Ruff) to die."

Interestingly, Gardner, 24, of Elorna, was sentenced last Friday to eight years with the Indiana Department of Correction in Sullivan Superior Court on a single count of involuntary manslaughter -- a class C felony.

Gardner pleaded guilty to an unrelated Sept. 1 incident at the Uptown Tavern that caused the death of 51-year-old Richard D. Pigg, of Dugger.

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