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Helmsburg murder
 
2 youths arrested in Brown Co. slaying
Published on: 01.10.09

Boys confess to shootings, theft attempts


NASHVILLE — Two teenagers have been arrested in the November home invasion that killed an 84-year-old Brown County man and injured his wife.

Bennie Reed, 17, of Lick Creek Road, is charged with murdering Richard “Dude” Voland and wounding his wife, Mary Voland, on Nov. 15.

Another boy also was charged, but authorities have not identified him because he is younger than 16. The Republic’s policy is to not identify juvenile suspects unless they are charged as adults.

Reed’s case, which includes 11 charges ranging from murder to theft, was filed directly in adult court because of the severity of the charges and because he was 16 at the time.

“The people of Brown County don’t have to be afraid in their homes anymore because these (suspects) have been caught,” Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver said.

A not-guilty plea was preliminarily entered for Reed at his initial hearing Friday. At the hearing, Reed said the last year of schooling he attended was eighth grade.

A bloody washcloth, a fingerprint and bicycles led police to Reed, whose parents lived less than a half mile south of the Volands.

Invasion turns deadly

A probable cause affidavit gave the following account of the alleged invasion and murder:

Reed and the younger boy told authorities they went to the Voland home to steal alcohol.

Reed said he was intoxicated at the time.

The boys rode their bicycles to the Voland home at 3 a.m., and Reed knocked on the door and asked if he could use the phone to call his parents.

Richard Voland let Reed in to use the phone, and Reed dialed a random number.

As he was leaving, he pulled a gun on Voland and said something like “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

Authorities believe the gun was stolen from another Brown County residence in late October or early November.

Voland also pulled a gun.

Reed tried to knock the gun out of Voland’s hand and it fired, wounding Reed on his left arm, authorities said.

Reed returned fire, striking Richard Voland in the head.

The gunshots woke Mary Voland, who came out and found her husband lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

Mary Voland said she tried to attend to her husband, but realized Reed was bleeding from his arm and tended to him.

She applied pressure with a washcloth, and peroxide and other first-aid supplies were used to treat the wound.

While she was speaking to Reed, he was twirling a gun, and Mary Voland asked him to stop because it might still be loaded.

Reed said, “Let’s find out” and shot her in the abdomen.

Voland said that later in the morning, the younger suspect slipped a ski mask over his face and cut her in the neck with a knife.

The boys cut the receiver off the telephone and left at about 5 a.m.

They took first-aid supplies, the gun they brought with them, the handgun Richard Voland shot, the handset from the phone and the washcloth used on Reed’s wound.

Reed also collected the bullet casings.

Mary Voland ran out the back door to her sister-in-law’s home nearby, and her sister-in-law called 911.

A newspaper carrier said she saw two boys on bicycles in the area at 4:45 a.m.

Investigation

Oliver said investigators canvassed the Helmsburg area in search of suspects.

Bicycles in the Reeds’ garage turned investigators toward Bennie Reed, the affidavit said.

Reed’s mother told Indiana State Police Detective Paul Suding that her husband on Nov. 15 found a white washcloth stained with what she believed to be blood.

Reed’s mother had washed the washcloth but gave it to Suding, who compared it to another washcloth from the Voland home.

They appeared to be the same type.

“Certainly everyone in the area was a suspect in the beginning,” Oliver said. “The bloody hand towel got us closer.”

Reed’s mother denied that Reed was living with them, and Reed’s sister said Reed had been living with her in Bloomington for about two years.

During an initial interview with ISP Detective Kevin Getz, Reed said he had not been back to Lick Creek Road for two years and had never been in the Voland home.

However, Getz noticed two scars on Bennie’s left bicep, about the size of a dime and horizontally aligned through the bicep.

To Getz, the affidavit states, the scars appeared consistent with a gunshot wound. Reed said they were cigarette burns.

Getz took Reed’s fingerprints, and they matched a fingerprint found on a medicine cabinet in the Voland bathroom.

During a second interview Jan. 8, Reed admitted he was living at his parents’ home on Lick Creek Road the night of the murder, the affidavit says.

He also admitted that he and the younger suspect rode their bikes to the Voland home Nov. 15 and that he shot Richard Voland after Voland’s gun discharged and wounded him.

The affidavit also states that Reed confessed that he and the younger boy burglarized another home before the Voland invasion and stole a handgun and alcohol.

Reed said he buried both guns, the sweatshirt he was wearing, the shell casings and a bottle of alcohol in a backpack across the creek from the Reed house.

The younger boy told investigators that he cut Mary Voland’s neck because Reed told him they had to kill her because she was a witness. The younger boy said he didn’t want to kill her so he didn’t cut her neck deeply, the affidavit says.

He also said he dug up the guns and hid them in a desk drawer in his room when he heard that police were searching the area around the creek.

Suding found the guns where the younger boy said they would be in his mother’s home.

Brown County Sheriff Buck Stogsdill said at a news conference Friday that Voland’s death caused “a lot of unrest” in the community.

“This is very unusual for a community like ours,” Stogsdill said.

“The world’s coming to us in this remote little valley.”


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Obituaries
See Full List »

Craig Lawrence Holden, 48, New Palestine
  Husband of Dawn (McKamey) Holden formerly of Brown County

Melissa Ann Smith, 38, Nashville
  Mother of Michaela Smith of Nashville

James Lee "Jimmy" Bock, 47
  Brother of Patricia Bock of Nashville

  • September 19
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 19
    Quafftoberfest at music park/campground
    1 p.m. to midnight Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 19
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 19
    BucCornEar Fest for Jackson TVFD
    3 to 8 p.m. Jackson TVFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 19
    Friday at BCSP
    10 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 20
    Quafftoberfest at music park/campground
    9 a.m. to midnight Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 20
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 20
    BucCornEar Fest for Jackson TVFD
    10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jackson TVFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 20
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 20
    Saturday at BCSP Nature Center
    10 a.m., 2 p.m, 8 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 20
    Comedy country music revue at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 20
    Dedication/celebration of BETA art sculpture
    11 a.m. BETA teen center, 45 S. Jefferson St., behind Miller's Ice Cream and Hoosier Artist at the alley intersection
  • September 20
    'The November Man' movie at the Playhouse
    1 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 21
    Monarch talk at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 21
    'The November Man' movie at the Playhouse
    1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 22
    Guided fall hike from BCSP fire tower
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 22
    Free small business seminar presented by ISBDC
    5:30 p.m. Brown County Inn, 51 State Road 46 East
  • September 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 23
    Ornithologist's field bag at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 23
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 23
    New 12-step meetings open in Van Buren area
    7 to 8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • September 24
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • September 24
    CSCD Board of Directors
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • September 24
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 24
    BC Parks & Rec. Board
    5:15 p.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • September 24
    Taste of fall at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 24
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 25
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 25
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 25
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 25
    Brown County/ Purdue Extension Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 25
    Thursday at BCSP
    10 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Comedy country music revue at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 26
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Friday at BCSP
    2 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 27
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 27
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 27
    Fall family farm day at theraputic horse farm
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hope for Hearts Farm Inc, 1005 W. State Road 45
  • September 27
    Women’s Retreat Day
    8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Salvation Army, 168 S. Jefferson St.
  • September 27
    Saturday at BCSP Nature Center
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 27
    Parks and recreation plans ladies tea
    10 a.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St. in Coachlight Square
  • September 27
    Betty Begonia sale slated for September
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artist's Retreat Cottage, 1641 Oak Grove Road
  • September 28
    Pinecone craft at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 28
    Therapy dogs to listen to readers
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 29
    Monday at BCSP
    10 a.m., 8 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 30
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 30
    Fall flowers at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • October 1
    Local Emergency Planning Committee
    9 a.m. Ambulance Base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • October 1
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 1
    Brown County Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 1
    BC SWCD
    6:30 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • October 2
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • October 2
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 2
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 3
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • October 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • October 4
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • October 4
    Chili supper, music and mystery auction at Hickory Ridge
    5 p.m. Hickory Ridge Center, 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane
  • October 5
    Herb barn hosts antique market
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flower & Herb Barn, 5171 Bean Blossom Road, Nineveh
  • October 5
    Elkinsville community reunion near Browning Mountain
    11 a.m. Bill Miller's farm, Elkinsville
  • October 7
    Magic club
    5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 8
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 9
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • October 9
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 10
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • October 11
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 11
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • October 11
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • October 11
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • October 14
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 15
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 25
    BCSP Halloween activities
    5 to 6 p.m., 8 to 10 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • November 8
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • November 8
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road