News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 10, 2013

Trial begins in manslaughter case

TERRE HAUTE — Testimony began today in the trial of a Terre Haute man accused of battering a person who later died at the Vigo County Jail.

James Madison Ross IV has been charged with the class-C felonies of involuntary manslaughter and battery resulting in serious bodily injury for the Jan. 8 death of William Powell, 48.

Kelly Lund, a cousin to Ross, testified in Vigo Superior Court 1 that Powell was intoxicated when he walked into her apartment on North Eighth Street and “mouthed off” to her and Ross. Lund testified that the two men got into a “tussle” in her apartment, and she said that Ross kicked Powell “on the butt” and not in the abdomen as asserted by the prosecution.

An autopsy determined that Powell died as a result of acute bacterial peritonitis due to a rupture of his small intestine caused by blunt force trauma.

The 12-member jury also heard testimony from a city police officer and jail staff concerning Powell’s condition and his medical treatment.

Testimony is expected to conclude today, with closing arguments planned for Wednesday morning, followed by jury deliberation.

For more details on the case, see Wednesday’s Tribune-Star or return to

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