Four Charged in Wells County Killing

By Brien McElhatten

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 30, 2009 at 4:44 PM EST

BLUFFTON, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Four men have been charged in the Wednesday night shooting death of a Wells County teen.

Dustin Jackson, 22, Cody Mendez, 17, Cody Barkley 18, and Jonathan Thatcher, 18, are all charged with murder, felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Each charge carries a potential sentence of up to 65 years in prison.

While the trigger man has yet to be identified, the same charges apply to all four men as the investigation continues to reveal facts in the case.

The charges may be altered or changed as the outcome of the investigation warrants.

"Now they're all probably, in my humble opinion, guilty of all three of them," explains Wells County Prosecutor Michael W. Lautzenheiser.
"At least there's probable cause that they're all guilty of them, but how it will shake out in the end, it's just way to early in the process to tell."

The shooting at the center of the case occured Wednesday night near the intersection of 800 North and 100 West near Uniondale. Police say Justin Sprow died after being shot though the windshield of his car. His passenger, 19-year old Randy Haney was able to hide in a nearby cornfield where he called police.

Haney was not hurt in the incident.

Thatcher and Barkley will go to trial in February. Mendez and Jackson will face a jury in April.

All four men are being held without bond.




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