News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 9, 2014

Vermillion Jail trusties face new charges

The Tribune-Star

ROCKVILLE — Two former inmate trusties at the Vermillion County Jail face new criminal charges after a recently discovered security breach at the jail.

“This kind of incident is not taken lightly, and I’m not going to tolerate these kind of incidents,” Sheriff Robert Spence told the Tribune-Star on Wednesday.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Spence explained that on June 30, a deputy noticed that his desk in the administrative area of the sheriff’s office had been tampered with and that items he was using for a case were missing. The officer notified Spence and the Vermillion County Prosecutor, and the jail was locked down with a search conducted for the missing items. Some of the items were recovered from a trash bin at the jail.

Inmate trusty workers were interviewed, and security video was reviewed, leading investigators to allege that trusty Sean Kelsheimer used a stolen security code to enter the office area from a jail hallway while fellow trusty Ryan Starbuck acted as a lookout.

Kelsheimer admitted to investigators that he knowingly entered the unauthorized area by using the stolen code. He also admitted searching the office for drugs. And he showed officers were he had hidden stolen items, which were then retrieved.

Kelsheimer also admitted to getting the security code from Starbuck, who was a new trusty worker.

Since the incident was discovered, all jail security system access point codes have been changed and lengthened, Spence said. All inmate workers have been replaced. There is also an ongoing internal investigation connected to the case, the sheriff said.