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December 3, 2013

Buskirk pleads guilty for role in teen’s murder

TERRE HAUTE — A Greene County man appeared in court Tuesday morning to admit his involvement in the murder of a Linton teenager last summer.

Jordan Buskirk pleaded guilty in Greene Superior court to felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, rape and criminal confinement in the death of 19-year-old Katelynn Wolfe.

Judge Dena Martin accepted his guilty pleas, but did not set a sentencing date. As part of his negotiated plea agreement, Buskirk agreed to assist prosecutors and will testify against co-defendant Randal Crosley at Crosley’s trial, now set for May 19.

Sentencing for Buskirk is to occur after Crosley’s trial, and is to be left to the court’s discretion. However, the sentences for the murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal confinement are to run at the same time, according to the plea deal. The judge will decide if the sentence for conspiracy to commit rape would run consecutively or concurrently to the three other charges.

The sentencing range for felony murder is 45 to 65 years in prison, with the advisory term being 55 years. The sentencing range for rape is 6 to 20 years, with an advisory term of 10 years.

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

The defendants are accused of picking up Wolfe from her 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 bound her body with a rope and a 20-pound anchor and tossed 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.

 

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    March 12, 2010

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