News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 10, 2012

Felon gets 110 years for double homicide

Tribune-Star staff report
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TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man received a 110-year prison sentence Friday for a double homicide that occurred near Bowling Green in 2011.

Michael D. Joyner, 22, received the prison term from Owen Circuit Court Judge Frank Nardi at the conclusion of a two-day sentencing hearing. The judge heard testimony from 15 witnesses presented by Owen County Prosecutor Donald VanDerMoere, and four witnesses presented by defense attorney Laura Paul.

Joyner had pleaded guilty in September to two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Randall W. Bohannon, 54, of Bowling Green, and Brandon H. Hyde, 24, of Terre Haute. The shooting occurred at Bohannon’s home in rural Owen County.

Joyner also pleaded guilty to armed robbery, criminal confinement and carrying a handgun without a license at a change of plea hearing in September. He was set to go on trial in October.

“This case began on a cold March night in 2011 and after one year, eight months and eight days, this case has finally come to a successful conclusion with Michael Joyner spending the rest of his days locked away from society,” VanDerMoere said in a statement issued after the hearing. “My heart goes out to all of the people affected by the senseless and heinous acts of Mr. Joyner.  I want to personally thank law enforcement for their efforts because without them going the extra mile we would not have had this type of outcome.”

Joyner was arrested after an Indiana State Police investigation into the double homicide led police to Joyner’s residence in the 2200 block of Poplar Street in Terre Haute. Investigators determined that Joyner and Hyde had been recently involved in the sale of a tan 2002 Pontiac Bonneville to Joyner’s girlfriend, but the deal had turned sour when the car broke down. Witnesses told police that Joyner took Hyde at gunpoint to a relative’s home in Bowling Green in an attempt to get a refund of the money paid for the car, but a dispute led to the shootings.