BREAKING NEWS: Judge denies change of venue in Buskirk case
During an early morning hearing on Wednesday in Greene Superior Court, Judge Dena Martin denied a motion for a change of venue in the case of Jordan Buskirk, one of two men charged with the murder of Katelyn Wolfe.
But the judge did issue an order that a jury should be selected from a county other than Greene County.
The motion for a change of venue was filed by Defense Attorney Jacob Fish on June 24. Fish serves as Deputy Public Defender in Greene County and was appointed by the court to represent Buskirk.
The motion cited a number of reasons why the defense claims Buskirk would be unable to receive a fair trial in Greene County including: Public hostility against the defendant, public outrage over the offense, prejudicial news reporting or editorializing which castigates the defendant, speculative opinions as to the personality and character of the accused, and the existence and contents of confessions or prior criminal records.
Both prosecution and defense attorneys informed the court they had reached an agreement that the case should remain in Greene County, but the jury should come from outside the county.
Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw said this was consistent with how other murder cases have been handled in Greene County in the past.
Defendant Jordan Buskirk, 25, of Jasonville, was present in the courtroom for the 8 a.m. hearing, escorted by Greene County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Michael Hasler.
Buskirk is being held in the Greene County Jail along with the other suspect in the murder, Randal E. Crosley, 26, also from Jasonville.
Both men are being held without bond.
Crosley is being represented by Greene County Public Defender Alan Baughman, also appointed by the court.
In Crosley's case, Baughman filed a motion on June 19 for a change of venue. A similar hearing on the motion was held in Greene Superior Court on June 21 with the same result. Judge Martin denied the motion for a change of venue but issued an order that Crosley's case will remain in Greene County with a jury selected from outside the county.
Both Crosley and Buskirk were charged with: Felony murder; conspiracy to commit murder, a class A felony; conspiracy to commit rape, a class B felony; and criminal confinement, a class C felony.
In addition, Crosley was charged with two counts of dealing in a Schedule IV controlled substance, both class C felonies.
The criminal investigation is ongoing. Since Buskirk and Crosley appeared in court for their initial hearings, no additional information regarding the investigation has been released and the Greene County Prosecutor has declined to comment on whether he might seek the death penalty or a sentence of life without parole in either case.
Pre-trial conferences are scheduled in both cases in early August.