According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, the Grand Jury returned seven indictments on Monday, including an attempted murder charge against Joshua T. Baldridge, 18, Mount Vernon, for allegedly hitting a Danville Police Officer with a car, in the early morning of Sunday, May 19. Baldridge is also faces felonious assault on a peace officer, vehicular assault, fleeing and eluding and breaking and entering charges.
Thatcher said beginning at about 5:00 a.m. on May 19, Baldridge allegedly broke into two Mount Vernon businesses, setting off the alarm at the second business. At about 5:30 a.m., Mount Vernon Police officers initiated a pursuit of a 2001 silver Pontiac Grand Am that had been spotted in the area of the alleged break-ins. Baldridge was allegedly driving the silver Grand Am reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour during the pursuit.
The high speed chase continued east of the City to the Village of Millwood where Officer Chad Lishness was deploying “spike strips” on the roadway in an attempt to stop the pursuit in the safest manner possible. At about 6:15 a.m., Baldridge swerved left of center to avoid the “spike strips”, and then swerved again in an apparent attempt to strike the Danville Officer with his vehicle. Baldridge then continued driving eastbound on U.S. Route 26 until the pursuing officers lost contact near State Route 715.
At about 8:00 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a report a driver slumped over the steering wheel of a tan Ford Taurus at the intersection of Goodall and Murray Roads, south of Mount Vernon near State Route 586. A responding deputy found Baldridge in the Taurus, but Baldridge allegedly sped when the deputy approached him. The ensuing pursuit with the deputy covered over 22 miles to the Village of Centerburg, where Baldridge lost control and crashed into parked vehicles on East Main Street. Baldridge lost control of his vehicle attempting to pass another car. During the second pursuit, other deputies responded to an address on Flat Run Road where they discovered the resident’s 1999 tan Ford Taurus had been stolen and a damaged silver Grand Am had been left in its place.
Detective Craig Feeney, Mount Vernon Police Department, lead the investigation assisted by numerous detectives and other officers, deputies and troopers with the MVPD, Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol.
Michael Blair, 23, and Katelynn M. Cooper, 23, Mount Vernon, face charges in connection with a house fire.
Thatcher said the evening of May 7, Blair and Cooper allegedly broke into the condemned residence at 123 Quarry Street. Blair allegedly set fire to the house with a box of papers, and then the pair left on foot until they found an unlocked car with the key in it, on Howard Street. Blair is accused of breaking and entering, arson, vandalism and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Cooper is charged with breaking and entering and complicity to commit unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Detective Jame DeChant, MVPD, and Investigator Jason Whaley, State Fire Marshall’s Office, investigated the case.
Charles T. Hess, Jr., 44, Mount Vernon, faces methamphetamine related charges for allegedly having the remnants of a “meth cook” at his residence, on May 5. Patrolman Andrew Burns and Kyle Theibert, MVPD, discovered the evidence during a domestic disturbance call.
Adam B. Curtis, 20, Ashfield, Massachusetts, allegedly sold mushrooms to a confidential informant in his dorm room at a local college on two occasions, in April. Curtis is charged with trafficking and possession of drugs. Detective Doug Turpen, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.
Caleb J. Miller, 39, Mount Vernon, was indicted on charges of aggravated possession of drugs and illegal conveyance of drugs into the Knox County Jail. Thatcher said on January 12, Miller allegedly brought three Adderall pills into the Jail when he was arrested on a drunk driving charge. Deputies Dan Selby and Scott Baker investigated the case.
On September 21, 2012, Trooper Joshua Stryker, State Highway Patrol, stopped Randy A. Jordan, 55, Mansfield, on State Route 13 for traveling at a high rate of speed and for suspected drunk driving. During the traffic stop, Jordan was allegedly found in possession of seven Methadone tablets. Jordan is charged with aggravated possession of drugs.
Arraignment hearings in the cases are scheduled for June 7 at 9 a.m., before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.