News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 6, 2014

Man changes plea in Greene County death

Accused in homicide of Katelyn Wolfe

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Greene County man accused in the June 2013 murder of a Linton teenager has agreed to plead guilty to felony murder.

Randal Crosley, 25, appeared in Greene Superior Court on Tuesday where Judge Dena Martin set a change of plea hearing for March 4 on the charges of felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape, criminal confinement and dealing in a controlled substance.

Martin entered a judgment of conviction on Wednesday against Crosley and accepted the negotiated plea agreement, which leaves sentencing to the discretion of the court. The sentences for the murder, conspiracy to commit murder, dealing in a controlled substance and criminal confinement are to run at the same time. However, the judge will decide if the sentence for conspiracy to commit rape would run consecutively or concurrently to the other charges.

With the acceptance of the plea, Judge Martin canceled the criminal trial in Crosley case.

Co-defendant Jordan Buskirk, 26, signed a plea agreement in December, admitting to the charges of felony murder, which carries a sentencing range of 45 to 65 years in prison, and to class-A felony conspiracy to commit murder, class-B felony conspiracy to commit rape and class-C felony criminal confinement.

No sentencing date has been set for Buskirk, who had agreed to cooperate in the case against Crosley.

The two men were arrested in June in the death of 19-year-old Katelyn N. Wolfe, whose father reported her missing June 6, about 20 hours after she was last seen walking in Linton.

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 then are alleged to have put her body in the trunk of Crosley’s car, before binding her body with a rope and a 20-pound anchor and tossing her body into a 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.