Friends of Murdered Wells County Teen Speak Out

By Laura Donaldson
By Brien McElhatten

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 30, 2009 at 6:19 PM EDT

UNIONDALE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Friends are speaking out about a teen’s violent death in Wells County Wednesday night.

Nineteen-year-old Justin Sprow died after being shot through the windshield of his car. Sprow’s passenger, 19-yer-old Randy Haney was able to call 911 and report the event.

It seems everyone in the small town of Uniondale has been affected in some way by this shooting. It’s a town where there's only a post office, a church and a fire department. Fewer than 300 people live in Uniondale.

Indiana’s NewsCenter spoke with Justin Sprow's former girlfriend, Andrea Incremona, and Randy Haney's younger brother, 14-year-old Tony, about the shooting.

They say they can't believe the pair would get mixed up in any kind of dangerous activities.

Andrea says Justin was funny, cocky and had a rough exterior. But says the 19-year-old had plans to go to college and become a chef.

Tony says he considered Justin, or "Sprout”, his best friend.

He says on Wednesday night he actually thought his brother was shot and killed and finds himself just as upset to know it was his best friend who was killed.

“At first I thought he was dead,” Tony Haney said. “Me and my dad thought he was dead because it came up and we were wondering if it is him. But then we got a phone call and it was my brother and he was hiding in the corn field and he told us, he was like Sprout is dead he got shot.”

Andrea says she’s stunned her friend is gone.

“We're all in shock,” Incremona said. “None of us know what to do. It's too close to home I guess. It affected a lot of people, we all knew him. We just don't know how to deal with it.”

Dealing with it is what many of the neighbors who barely knew the boys say they’re struggling to do right now.

Four young men from Adams County are facing a bevy of criminal charges in Sprow’s death.

Eighteen-year-old Cody Barkley and Jonathan Thatcher were each charged with murder, felony murder, and conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Twenty-two year-old Dustin Jackson, and 17-year-old Cody Mendez are also charged with those same three class-a felonies.

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

The reason they all face the same charges is so authorities have their bases covered as the investigation continues.

“Now they're all probably, in my humble opinion, guilty of all three of them,” Wells County Prosecutor Michael W. Lautzenheiser said. “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."

Andrea says she plans on making a white cross with Justin’s name on it and placing at the intersection where he died. She says she hopes the community members stop and sign the cross to let everyone know Justin was loved.

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