TERRE HAUTE —
The father of a Jasonville man charged with murder broke down in tears following his son’s appearance in Greene Superior Court on Friday morning.
“I’m devastated,” Gilbert Buskirk said after 26-year-old Jordan Buskirk heard that he faces potentially decades in prison if convicted on the charges of felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape and criminal confinement for the June 6 death of Katelyn N. Wolfe, 19, of Linton.
“Anyone who knows Jordan would know he couldn’t do this,” Gilbert Buskirk said, sobbing outside the courtroom where his son and the co-defendant — Randal E. Crosley, 25, also of Jasonville — heard Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw read the criminal charges and allegations against them.
“I am so sorry,” the distraught father said in an impromptu message to the Wolfe family. “I wish I could have stopped it. If I had known about it, I would have stopped it.”
The defendants appeared separately in front of Judge Dena Martin, answering questions about their financial status because they both requested public defenders.
Crosley said he earned about $9 an hour working at a Terre Haute business through a temporary employment service. He said is married and has a young daughter. When Martin asked if he had any other source of income, he replied, “Dealing.” Public defender Alan Baughman asked that the statement be stricken from the record.
Crosley also faces two class-C felony charges of dealing in a controlled substance.
Buskirk told the judge that he worked at a Terre Haute business and lived with his brother in Jasonville. He is not married but has one child. The judge appointed Jacob Fisher as his public defender.
The defendants are accused of picking up Wolfe from her Linton home on June 5 and driving to a rural area where they attempted to rape her. According to the police report, the men killed Wolfe by strangling her with a rope when she fought against them. They covered her mouth with duct tape, secured a shirt over her head and handcuffed her arms behind her back. They then put her body in the trunk of Crosley’s car and drove around, before binding her body with a rope and a 20-pound anchor and tossing her body into a rural Sullivan County lake.
After police were notified of Wolfe’s disappearance by her father, investigators used phone records to contact several people who were believed to be in communication with Wolfe at about the time of her disappearance. That led police to Buskirk and Crosley, who later talked to police about their alleged involvement in the disappearance and death of Wolfe.
According to court records, Buskirk explained to investigators that the two friends had planned to find someone to rape, and “it was just something that popped in their heads.” He said the initial plan of Buskirk and Crosley was “to rape and then murder,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in court.
No trial date has been set, but both men are scheduled to return to court for a pretrial conference Aug. 5. They are being held without bond in the Greene County Jail.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.