News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 2, 2013

Judge finds cause for shooting suspect’s arrest

SULLIVAN — A Sullivan County woman remained hospitalized in fair and stable condition Monday after a shooting at her home near Carlisle on Saturday. A judge has found probable cause for the arrest of her boyfriend in connection with the shooting.

Joann Sue Pierce, 37, sustained gunshot wounds to her hand, face, neck and thigh in the early morning shooting, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday in Sullivan Superior Court.

Indiana State Police report that Pierce was initially taken to Sullivan County Community Hospital and then airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. One of the bullets struck Pierce’s carotid artery and required immediate surgery. First Sgt. Jeff Hearon said it appears two of Pierce’s fingers had been shot off.

Adam Keith Bales, 32, is being held in the Sullivan County Jail on a preliminary charge of attempted murder. He is expected to appear in court later this week. Formal charges had not been filed as of Monday.

Hearon said the police investigation revealed that before the shooting, Pierce and Bales had been at a friend’s residence where they were playing basketball and drinking beer. The friend told police that Bales was not a good basketball player, and the friend said that he and Pierce told Bales that “he played like a girl.” Another friend took Bales home, and Pierce went home later.

The court document states that Bales told investigators that when he went home, he shot a .22-caliber rifle into the trees behind his residence. When Pierce came home later, he said, she attempted to punch him and he pushed her. Bales told police he was not sure what happened next, but he remembered shooting at Pierce.

He told police the next thing he remembered he was standing over her with a rifle in his hand in the side yard of their residence. He said he then called 911 to summon medical help.

Bales is being held without bond.

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