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Man accused of murder appears in court
Updated on: 11.29.12

The person accused of shooting Brown County resident Jamie Shawn Simpson heard the formal charge of murder read against him in court Thursday. 

Benjamin “Jake” Munn, 38, made his position clear as armed deputies escorted him from the small hearing room in Brown Circuit Court.

“I didn’t intentionally kill nobody,” the shackled Munn said.

A probable cause affidavit filed Thursday by the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office detailed what investigators believe happened over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The probe began as a missing person’s report. Simpson’s father, Lyndon, contacted Brown County authorities on Monday, Nov. 26, because he had not seen or heard from his son since Saturday night.

A person had called the father to say that Simpson had been at a property on Peoga Road when a confrontation occurred, and that someone fired shots at Simpson.

Brown County Deputy Scott Bowling reported that Munn’s girlfriend, 33-year-old Tabitha Moore, also contacted Simpson’s sister-in-law Monday to tell her that Munn had shot at Simpson.

Bowling found Munn at a home in the 4700 block of Peoga Road at about 11 a.m. Monday.

Munn told the officer that he and Simpson had gotten into an argument on Saturday, but Simpson left, and Munn had not seen him since.

Munn told police that the dispute was over money.

Bowling noted in the probable cause affidavit that the green Chevrolet truck Simpson had been driving was in Munn’s driveway at that time.

At about noon Tuesday, Nov. 27, Brown County authorities learned that Simpson’s body had been found the previous morning in Indianapolis.

That concluded a two-day, three-county search for Simpson and launched a homicide investigation.

Kendale Adams, public information officer for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, reported that a resident taking out his trash to an alley near downtown Indianapolis found Simpson’s body.

The resident noticed a pair boots behind the trash cans, then saw a person laying on the ground, said Alfarena Ballew, Marion County chief deputy coroner.

Ballew said Simpson was not carrying any identification. He was identified by his fingerprints.

An autopsy revealed that he died of a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Investigators believe Simpson’s body was dumped sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, Adams said.

A male witness told police that on Saturday, Nov. 24, he drove Simpson out to Munn’s house, where Simpson’s truck had run out of fuel.

Along the way, Simpson complained about Munn owing him money.

When they arrived, Munn was not home, but he returned a short time later and drove to the back of the 44-acre property.

Police say Simpson began removing the rims from Munn’s car as payment for money owed. The witness then left.

In a police interview, Moore stated that Munn told her he had shot Simpson.

When she expressed concern about coyotes eating his body, Munn assured her that would not happen, because the body had been taken care of, according to the affidavit.

Bartholomew County and Brown County officers stopped Munn’s truck near the Brown-Bartholomew county line, on Mt. Healthy Road/Bartholomew County Road 700 South, Tuesday night. Police arrested Munn on the murder charge and Moore, the passenger, on an outstanding warrant out of Lawrence County for identity deception.

Moore has not been charged in the murder case.

Initially, Munn blamed the shooting on a man who forced him at gunpoint to load Simpson’s body into his truck before driving to Indianapolis to dispose of the body, the affidavit states.

The next day, Munn requested another interview, where he detailed another version of events surrounding Simpson’s death.

Munn told police that he when he drove to the back of the Peoga Road property, he got his truck stuck. He walked back toward where Simpson was removing the tires. Munn told Simpson he needed to leave, but Simpson walked toward him.

Munn told police they were yelling at each other when he ran at Simpson and fired two shots at him.

Munn stated that Simpson went to the ground.

Munn then put his truck in four-wheel drive and went to a friend’s house in Columbus.

Along the way, he threw out the 9mm handgun he used, according to the affidavit.

Munn stated that he returned to the property late Sunday or early Monday. He told police he found Simpson’s body, but avoided directly answering questions about moving it.

“I’ll just say this, when my truck came back, the body wasn’t in it,” Munn stated in the affidavit.

Brown Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart ordered Munn to be held in the Brown County Jail without bond. She set his trial date for March 13.

If convicted, Munn faces between 45 and 65 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

-- Kevin Lilly, Brown County Democrat

See Full List »

Melody L. Estes, 56, North Vernon
  Sister of Shawna (Brian) Lowe of Brown County

Geneva Holder, 88, Sebring, Florida
  Brown County native

Larry D. Underwood, 53, Columbus
  Brother of Rob (Laura) Underwood of Nashville

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