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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 »

Jim Wint, 51, Scipio
  Brother of Karen Redding of Nashville

Marilyn L. (Gooch) Armstrong, 81, Nineveh
  Former owner/broker of Salt Creek Realty in Nineveh

Patricia Ann Powell Kearney; Ft. Worth, Texas
  1963 graduate of Brown County High School

  • October 25
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • October 25
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • October 25
    Shriners to host trap, still board shoots
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 6088 State Road 46 East
  • October 25
    Old-fashioned Halloween Fest
    6:30 to 8 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, state roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • October 25
    Free medical, dental and eye care offered
    8 a.m. to 1 p.m. YMCA, 105 Willow 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
  • October 25
    Live dinner show at dance barn
    6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • October 26
    Storytellers to compete in Tall Tale Tell Off
    1 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 28
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 28
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 28
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    7 to 8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • October 28
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 29
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 29
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 30
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • October 30
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 30
    B.C. Election Board
    1:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 30
    9th District candidate to meet public
    7 to 8:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 30
    Rotary Club
    7:15 a.m., 3 p.m. Artists Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • October 31
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • October 31
    Trick-or-Treat hours set for Nashville
    6 to 9 p.m. Nashville
  • October 31
    Deadline to RSVP for Brown County/Purdue Extension dinner meeting
  • November 1
    Annual chicken noodle dinner, craft bazaar at Christiansburg church
    4 to 7 p.m. Christiansburg United Methodist Church, 7372 S. Christianburg Road
  • November 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 1
    Annual craft, bake sale at Helmsburg church
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St.
  • November 1
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 1
    Annual bazaar, quilt raffle, bake sale, bean dinner
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Goshen Community Church, 2798 Gatesville Road, Bean Blossom
  • November 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • November 4
    Government offices CLOSED
  • November 5
    Woodworkers club
    7 p.m. Charlie Roush's Shop, 6987 Christianberg Road
  • November 5
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 6
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • November 6
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 6
    Salt Creek Trail Committee
    10 a.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • November 6
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. Helmsburg Elementary School, 5378 Helmsburg School Road
  • November 6
    Rotary Club
    7:15 a.m. Artists Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 7
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • 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
  • November 8
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 8
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 11
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 12
    Mandatory scholarship meeting at the high school
    6:30 p.m. Brown County High School, 235 School House Lane
  • November 12
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 13
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 14
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 15
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 15
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 18
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 19
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 20
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 23
    Nashville Reserve Officers host chili cook-off
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nashville P.D., 200 Hawthorne Drive
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road