News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 31, 2013

Elkins sentenced in connection to 2011 officer death

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man connected with the July 2011 shooting death of a Terre Haute police officer received a 21⁄2-year prison sentence on Friday.

Charles “CJ” Elkins, 25, appeared in Monroe Circuit Court 2 where he admitted to resisting law enforcement on the day that Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Long was killed in an exchange of gunfire with a wanted suspect.

Monroe Judge Marc Kellams accepted the plea agreement and set an Oct. 10 hearing date for three remaining defendants — Roberta Utterback, Jenny Torres and Jesse Padgett II — who have been charged in connection with Long’s death.

The case against Heather Elkins was resolved with a plea agreement in June. She is now serving a prison sentence at the Rockville Correctional Facility with a release date of June 14, 2014.

The five criminal cases — originally filed in Vigo County following the July 2011 incident — were transferred to  Monroe County after the defendants claimed they could not receive fair trials in Vigo County due to pretrial publicity and public outrage about officer Long’s death.

The five defendants were present in July 2011 when a federal task force presented an arrest warrant at the residence of  Heather Elkins on North Eighth Street. Officer Long was killed in an exchange of gunfire, and Long’s K-9 partner Shadow was also injured by gunfire.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said Friday that plea negotiations are also under way with the remaining defendants.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter@TribStarLisa.