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Helmsburg murder
14-year-old agrees to plea bargain
Published on: 10.02.09

NASHVILLE — The younger brother accused as an accomplice in the killing of an elderly Brown County man pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted robbery, in exchange for the state dropping murder and other charges.

Blade Reed, 14, also admitted to a juvenile offense of aggravated battery and agreed to a recommended 30-year prison sentence.

Reed and his older brother, Bennie Reed, 17, went to the home Richard “Dude” Voland, 84, and his wife, Mary, 77, early Nov. 15 to steal beer but wound up killing Voland and seriously injuring his wife.

Blade Reed was originally charged with nine counts in the incident, two of which were waived to adult court while the rest remained within the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile system.

The plea agreement has him admitting to one adult charge, attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class A felony, and one juvenile charge, aggravated battery, a Class B felony if committed by an adult.

It also requests that Brown Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart order Reed to juvenile prison until he turns 18 instead of going directly to adult prison.

He will share restitution to Mary Voland of $11,329.15 with his brother.

The remainder of the charges, including counts of murder, attempted murder, battery by means of a deadly weapon, attempted robbery resulting in bodily injury, burglary and theft, will be dismissed, if Brown Circuit Judge Judith Stewart accepts the plea agreement.

“I’m pleased to achieve a solution that does not brand him as a murderer,” James Roberts, Blade’s court-appointed attorney, said.

Reed affirmed during Thursday’s hearing the details surrounding the incident, after Prosecutor Jim Oliver read them aloud.

He admitted that when the brothers arrived at the Voland home, Bennie went to the door and asked Voland to use his telephone.

Voland let Bennie Reed inside, but the boy pulled a .25-caliber handgun on him and told him that no one had to get hurt.

Voland also produced a gun, and it went off when Bennie Reed attempted to take it away, sending a bullet into the boy’s arm.

Bennie Reed fired back, shooting Voland in the head. He died the following evening at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Mary Voland attempted to treat the wounds of both her husband and Bennie, but the boy shot her in the abdomen. He also instructed Blade Reed to kill Mary Voland, and he cut her neck with a knife.

She survived and drove to a relative’s home nearby for help after the boys fled the scene.

Bennie Reed pleaded guilty July 29 to murder and aggravated battery. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Blade Reed’s sentence is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 13, two days before the anniversary of the incident.

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David O’Neal Williams, 75, Bloomington
  Father of Tony Williams of Nashville

Raymond M. Richardson, 83, Morgantown
  Father of Rob (Jennifer) Richardson of Brown County

Florence L. (Schonfeld) Cave, 76, Peoga
  Mother of Linda (Roger) Smith of Nashville

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