Nobody covers Brown County like The Democrat Buy PDF| Advertise| Contact Us
Hoosier Harvest Cookbook
Helmsburg murder
Teen pleads guilty to Brown Co. murder
Published on: 07.30.09

 NASHVILLE — A Brown County teenager pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering an 84-year-old man from whom he tried to steal beer during a robbery.

Bennie Reed, 17, also pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for attacking the man’s wife when Reed invaded the home of Richard “Dude” and Mary Voland Nov. 15.

The guilty pleas came as part of an agreement with Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver, who has dropped nine other charges against Reed.

His sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Aug. 24 in Brown Circuit Court. Reed faces 45 to 85 years in prison.

Reed’s 13-year-old brother, Blade Reed, also has been charged as an adult with murder and robbery in the case.

Reed only spoke when the judge addressed him during Wednesday’s hearing, saying “I wish to plead guilty” when asked how he pleaded to the murder charge.

Oliver established the facts of the case during the hearing, saying the purpose of the Reed boys’ trip in the early morning hours of Nov. 15 was to rob Richard Voland of beer.

Bennie Reed knocked on the door, which Voland answered, and asked to use the phone. After doing so, Reed pulled out a .25-caliber handgun as he left the house and told Richard “Nobody needs to get hurt,” Oliver said.

Voland also drew a handgun, which Bennie Reed tried to knock from his hand, causing the gun to fire and hit Reed in the arm.

Reed fired a shot in return, which struck Voland in the head, killing him.

Mary Voland, 77, came out of the bedroom and attempted to treat her husband and Reed’s wounds. Bennie Reed fired Richard Voland’s handgun at Mary, which hit her in the torso and caused internal and external bleeding and created a substantial risk of death.

Mary Voland recovered from the gunshot wound and other injuries allegedly inflicted by Blade Reed and attended Bennie Reed’s plea hearing Wednesday.

Oliver said after the hearing that he and Reed’s attorney have had general discussions about a possible plea. Last week, he drew up a plea agreement, and Reed accepted it.

Oliver talked with Mary Voland about offering Bennie Reed a plea agreement, and he said she was happy with the outcome.

“What we dismissed, we thought was a fair trade for a guilty plea to these charges,” Oliver said.

Reed’s attorney, Andrew Szakaly, declined to comment.

Guilty plea in murder

PREVIOUSLY: Richard "Dude" Voland, 84, is shot dead in his Brown County home on Nov. 15, while his wife, Mary, suffers a gunshot wound and knife injuries to her neck - but she survives. Police arrest Bennie Reed, 17, and Blade Reed, 13, in January.

NOW: Bennie Reed on Wednesday pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and murder.

NEXT: He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. on Aug. 24 in Brown Circuit Court. He faces 45 to 85 years in prison.

<< Back

See Full List »

Josephine Lee Cueto, 62, Morgantown
  Daughter of Priscilla Burgmeier of Nashville

Mary 'Jane' Kollman, 92, Nashville
  Mother of Janet (Tom) Gaskins of Nashville

Charlotte K. (Adkins) Wilson, 67, Franklin
  Former resident of Brown County

  • November 23
    Annual community-wide hymn sing planned
    6:30 p.m. Nashville Christian Church, 160 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 23
    Nashville Reserve Officers host chili cook-off
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nashville P.D., 200 Hawthorne Drive
  • November 25
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 25
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • November 28
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 29
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 29
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 2
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • December 4
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 12
    Widowed group plans Christmas party
    noon Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • December 12
    BCSP Christmas bird count slated
    8 a.m. BCSP Nature Center, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road