News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 20, 2013

Murder charges filed in Arrowsmith death

TERRE HAUTE — Three people have been charged by the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office with felony murder in the Nov. 8 shooting death of Terre Haute resident Ronald Arrowsmith.

But officials say none of those three pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Arrowsmith. Instead, because he died during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery, the three people who conspired with Arrowsmith to commit the felony robbery can be charged with his death, according to those officials.

On Tuesday, felony murder charges were filed against Marteail D. Brewer, 31, Amber Marie Reynolds, 33, and Damien D. Tyler, 34.

The three defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and attempted robbery.

In addition, both Brewer and Tyler were charged with carrying a handgun without a license. And Brewer also was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

The man who is suspected of having fired the shot that killed Arrowsmith – 29-year-old Cody Thompson of Terre Haute – has been charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, a class-C felony.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Terre Haute Police Department, Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said that the case against Thompson remains under investigation.

Assistant Police Chief Shawn Keen said that the investigation into the shooting has revealed that Thompson was the target of a robbery.

According to information filed in Vigo Superior Court 1, Thompson was lured to a First Avenue home to pick up items he had left behind earlier. Amber Reynolds, Brewer, Tyler and Arrowsmith allegedly laid in wait for Thompson in the basement of the home with the intention of stealing drug money from Thompson. Brewer, Tyler and Arrowsmith are believed to have concealed their identity by wearing bandanas over their faces.

When Thompson and another female walked down the staircase into the basement of the home, Arrowsmith reportedly pointed a gun at the head of the woman. At that time, Thompson is believed to have fired shots toward where he thought the person with a gun was standing. One of those bullets struck Arrowsmith in the head, investigators believe.

After the shooting, Brewer and Tyler fled the scene. They were located in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 13 by the U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Locator Unit. They were arrested on Vigo County warrants, and they waived extradition to be transported back to Vigo County. Officers from THPD traveled to Texas to retrieve the suspects and to search the vehicle they were driving. Inside that car, police found a gun allegedly used in the attempted robbery.

On Saturday, the marshal’s service also located Thompson at a Terre Haute location, and he was taken into custody.

Keen stated that Arrowsmith was shot in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, but police were not notified of his death until about 14 hours later. That allowed ample time for the suspects to flee the area, he said. But despite that, witnesses identified some of the suspects, assisting the investigation.

Police Chief John Plasse said that the long hours worked by his officers on the case shows their determination.

“Our officers responded at 8 p.m. and they were not released until 4 p.m. the next day,” Plasse said. “That shows the dedication of our detectives when something bad occurs. Then they were called to Texas to retrieve the suspects who were apprehended. I commend them for the work they did.”

The two women who accompanied Tyler and Brewer to Texas – Allison Wheeler and Desirae Weaver – have been charged with assisting a criminal.

Reynolds and her mother-in-law, Rhonda Reynolds, were also charged with altering the scene of a death and obstruction of justice for allegedly cleaning up blood and the area around Arrowsmith’s body, which police say hindered the investigation.

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


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