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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

Obituaries
See Full List »

Pamela Jo (Brown) Black, 58, Franklin
  Mother of Bryan Black (Tara Hammons) of Brown County

Tad Heminger, 70, Franklin
  Former Brown County resident

Violet Rose “Toots” Wilkerson, 94, Bloomington
  Mother of Ernest Wilkerson (Ricki) of Brown County

  • May 22
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 22
    Morel Mushroom sale to benefit local charities
    9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brown County IGA parking lot, 30 Hawthorne Dr.
  • May 22
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Wildflower walk at state park
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • May 22
    "Hook" at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Live music at bar
    7:30 to 9:30 p.m., 10 to 11:30 p.m. Big Busted Bar, 44 N. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road off 46 East
  • May 22
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    8 to 10 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 23
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • May 23
    Yard and bake sale at North Salem Methodist church
    9 a.m. to 2 p.m. North Salem Methodist church, 7718 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Art class set for fourth Saturday at winery
    3 to 5 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Studebaker Nationals, Spring Classic Saturday at BC Dragway
    Gates open at 9 a.m. B.C. Dragway, 480 Gatesville Rd., Bean Blossom
  • May 23
    Morel Mushroom sale to benefit local charities
    9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brown County IGA parking lot, 30 Hawthorne Dr.
  • May 23
    Saturday at Brown County State Park
    10 a.m., 11 a.m., 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • May 23
    Yard sale at church includes crafts and baked goods
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m. BC Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • May 23
    "Woman in Gold" at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live music at bar
    7 to 9 p.m., 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Big Busted Bar, 44 N. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live band at sports bar
    8 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Live band at dance barn
    8 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • May 24
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    10 a.m. to noon Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 24
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    Noon to 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 25
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • May 26
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 26
    BC Area Plan Commission CANCELED
    County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 26
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • May 27
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • May 27
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • May 27
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 28
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 29
    Farmers market reopens in Bean Bean Blossom
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road off 46 East
  • May 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 30
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 30
    Comedy tour at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 31
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    10 a.m. to noon Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • June 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • June 2
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • June 2
    Bean Blossom Sewer Board
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • June 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • June 4
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    Gospel jam & sing first Thursday in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 5
    Strawberry fest during farmers market
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road, off 46 East
  • June 6
    Shrine parade celebrates summer
    11 a.m. downtown Nashville
  • June 7
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 11
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • June 13
    Open house conducted at New Song
    9 to 11 a.m. New Song Mission, 7202 Keith Donaldson Road, Freetown
  • June 15
    Essential oil class at tea shop
    6 p.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St., Suite C, Coachlight Square
  • June 17
    Hamblen Fire District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Gatesville
  • June 20
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • June 20
    Pollinator Awareness Day at state park Nature Center
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 11
    Health fair at the YMCA
    8 a.m. to noon YMCA, 105 Willow St.