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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers Steven Sanchez and Adam Ahmad walked into a Marion Superior court in suits Friday.

It was their first appearance after being indicted for the death of Herman Whitfield III, who died April 25 while in police custody.

Each officer pleaded not guilty.

The judge set the bonds for each man at $15,000.

Sanchez and Ahmad are each facing multiple charges, including reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter, for their rolls in the death of Whitfield.

The Whitfield family called police last April because their son was having a mental health episode

Police tasered him and handcuffed him with his face on the ground. When paramedics arrived, Whitfield was unresponsive.

John Kautzman, the defense attorney for both officers, said, “They believe that they were following their training and acted with no illegality, or criminal intent.”

Because of this case, the Fraternal Order of Police wants IMPD to change its policy for who responds first to mental health calls. They said in a statement that paramedics and firefighters should be the first point of contact unless a crime is being committed.

I-Team 8 asked Kautzman if the officers had a message for the Whitfield family. He said, “Their heart has always gone out to the Whitfield family. They’re in the business of protecting the community and they put their lives on the line for citizens every day. They understand when a tragedy occurs. The question here isn’t whether or not this was a tragedy. It’s a question of whether or not they are legally responsible for that death.”

With the first step in the case out of the way, both sides will be preparing for a trial.

Kautzman said, “I want the community to reserve judgment until both sides have had a chance to present all the evidence at trial on whether or not this is a tragedy, or a criminal problem. We don’t think these officers are criminals,” said .

The trial was set for July 11, although judges commonly reset the initially scheduled dates for various reasons.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Descendants, caregivers of Indiana Avenue are partnering with the city of Indianapolis to create a more equitable and prosperous avenue.

Plans were announced Thursday to move forward with an Indiana Avenue strategic plan while openly recognizing the city’s complicity in the trauma caused by urban renewal and praising what this new plan could mean by breathing new life into the avenue.
“First, though, I want to recognize the historical context of this announcement. And the complex role that the city plays,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett while addressing the crows at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum.

The physical history of Indiana Avenue has been widely erased. However, the feeling it gave you still beats in the hearts of descendants like Paula Brooks and Claudia Polley.

“Our schools were gone. Our recreational spaces were gone. Our performance spaces were gone. And all the neighborhood amenities that made this such a wonderful community to grow up in they were all gone,” Brooks said.

For generations, many have hoped to see Indiana Avenue and its nearby communities built back up in a way to honor the past. That wish may finally come true.

“Our work is to help all of you realize the depth, the value and the future of Indiana Avenue,” Polley said.

Hogsett announced the Indiana Avenue strategic plan and is accepting proposals from those wanting to help design what that looks like. Keeping in mind the history while preserving the four residential districts, bringing in business, amenities and affordable housing.

“For years, this Black enclave of commerce and culture, withstood a battery of trials. Coming from their city. Coming from the Statehouse. And coming from some of their neighbors,” Hogsett said.

The Madam Walker Legacy Center, a place many consider the crown jewel of the avenue, is just one of the remaining original buildings after parking lots and campus facilities ate up real estate.

“Even though we don’t have enough buildings left from the past, we have a few. And so, we will protect those few,” Polley said.

The winning proposal will cover a large patch, stretching north to 16th, east to Capital, south to Military Park and west to the White River.

“I am ecstatic about this big bold opportunity to move forward,” Brooks said.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — COVID-19 hospitalization rates are once again on the rise concerning local doctors.

Dr. Christopher Doehring, the Franciscan Health Vice President of Medical Affairs said, “We’re definitely seeing a significant increase, here at Franciscan we’ve had a doubling of our total number cases over the last three weeks or so. We’ve also seen flu rise from basically nothing to right on par with our COVID-19 population in the hospital.”

It was around this time last year that cases slowly started to rise before a sharp drop off towards the end of winter.

Doehring says there are about 30 people hospitalized at Franciscan for COVID-19 but the cases are less severe this year. He expects numbers to continue to rise.

“We’re inside, we’re gathering with friends and family, we’re interacting in close quarters for extended periods of time,” Doehring said. “And it’s that time of the year to be spreading all sorts of viruses.”

COVID-19 is now a concern on top of the standard cold and flu as well as the new addition of RSV.

“It just puts a lot of stress on vulnerable populations for each of those viruses,’ Doehring said. “Thankfully RSV has been dropping pretty significantly over the last couple of weeks and it looks as though at least for now that the COVID-19 severity with these currently circulating strains isn’t quite what it has been with past surges.”

Doehring says there is protection in the way of the flu shot, updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, and natural immunity for those that were infected.

“The time is now for both the flu and your COVID-19 booster if you’re outside of that four to the six-month window,” Doehring said.

Doehring reminds everyone that vaccines do not provide blanket immunity but will help reduce the severity of the case.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former Vice President Mike Pence addressed his split with former President Donald Trump in his book “So Help Me God.”

On Tuesday night, he publicly discussed the controversy surrounding the January 6, 2021, riots with participants in his first Indianapolis stop on his book tour.

Pence, who also is a former Indiana governor, remained complimentary of the duo’s record in the White House during a one-on-one interview.

“In writing ‘So Help Me God’ I thought it was important that we tell the whole story,” Pence told News 8. “I mean I couldn’t be more proud of the work of the Trump-Pence administration. In less than four years, we rebuilt our military, we revived our economy, created 7 million jobs, we secured our border, became energy-independent, and saw hundreds of conservatives appointed to our courts, including three Supreme Court justices, and to have been a part of that was a great honor for me. Obviously, the administration did not end well. January 6 was a tragic day.”

During the discussion and Q&A at the book event, Pence was more critical of the idea that he would turn over the results of the election.

“The theory that emerged shortly into December that somehow in my role as vice president that I would have the ability to change the outcome of the election was something that I dismissed early on,” Pence said. “There is probably no idea more un-American that one person could choose the American president. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone.”

Asked about possible factions in the Republican Party affecting outcomes for Republicans in the 2022 election, Pence said the party needs to focus on the future and implementing policies that work for the American people.

“When I look at the results of the midterm elections the common denominator that I see is that candidates that were focused on the future. Candidates that were focused on dealing with the issues that the American people are struggling with, which are the high cost of living, the high cost of gasoline and energy, the crisis at our border, and the crime in our cities. Those candidates that were focused on the future did quite well in this election.”

Pence has not announced a campaign for president but is expected to do so after hinting at it in recent public appearances.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a man of neglect charges after he was accused with his ex-wife of abandoning an adopted daughter.

The Tippecanoe Superior Court panel deliberated about two hours Thursday before finding Michael Barnett not guilty of three neglect charges and conspiracy to commit neglect of a dependent.

The daughter, Ukrainian immigrant Natalia Barnett, said her adoptive parents, before moving to Canada, abandoned her in a second-story Lafayette apartment in which she was unable to navigate the stairs and without a walker or wheelchair or any knowledge of the city.

Michael Barnett and his ex-wife have said Natalia was an adult pretending to be a child.

Wow! It’s amazing what a few flowers and swirls were able to add to Randy and Amber’s cake design!

Chef LaCretia Allen and Angelo “The Baker’s Man” Allen of Cretia Cakes joined us Monday on “Life.Style.Live!” to share some of the beautifully designed dessert creations perfect to help you celebrate Mother’s Day, graduation and any other upcoming events!

You can find them in Zionville for the Brick Street Market during the day, and that evening they will be at Rev Indy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For more information visit:

Phone: 317-929-1560

There are quite a few things that set Green’s Lawncare apart from their competition, and Matt Green, owner of Green’s Lawncare, joined us Tuesday on “Life.Style.Live!” to share what makes their business special.

When it comes to pest control, they have you covered from the beginning to the end of the season, and if you have a breakthrough they’ll come back and spray again for free. Their techs focus on fertilization, weed control and exterior pest control (perimeter pest control, flea & tick applications and mosquito control).

Green’s Lawn Care is focused on providing the best customer service. They have staff in their office to answer every phone call. They also knock on customer’s doors to let them know we are on their property and to answer all questions. Also, included in your service are rain gauges to help with watering needs. They also focus on education and content delivery to the clients via YouTube videos and emails. Their goal is the best results possible, and Green says that takes teamwork on both sides.

You’re always safe in their team’s hands. Team members are background checked and wear their badge proudly around their necks. It has their photograph on the badge, so you know exactly who is showing up to your house. Many companies will hire just anyone off the street due to the labor crisis, but they are very careful in who they select. 

Their team is also professionally dressed in a collared shirt with a name badge when they arrive. This is for two reasons. One, they want you to know their names as they will be returning multiple times a year. Two, a professional lawn care company that shows up in clean vehicles says something about you as a homeowner to your neighborhood. 

They don’t have sales reps on staff, they have “turf experts.” These individuals are there to answer all your questions and determine what package is correct for you. 

It’s also an organization with an owner who is extremely community oriented. Green’s lawncare sponsors classrooms so teachers have necessary supplies, provides Greencare for troops and partners with the Lawn Mower Project to help young people start their own lawncare businesses.

For more information visit, and


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Green’s Lawn Care is this week’s Local’s Only feature! They joined to tell us all about appreciating weeds and pest control.

For more information, click HERE.


Green’s Lawncare isn’t only a thriving business providing residential lawn care and maintenance services. It’s also an organization with an owner who is extremely community oriented. Green’s lawncare sponsors classrooms so teachers have necessary supplies, provides Greencare for troops and partners with the Lawn Mower Project to help young people start their own lawncare businesses.

Matt Green, owner of Green’s Lawn Care, and Gary Szymczak, founder of the Lawn Mower Project, joined us today to discuss their collaboration.

The Lawn Mower Project serves underserved youth by teaching the business and life skills through starting a lawn mowing business. We give them the support and resources they need. 

Green says, “We are a lawncare company first, but our company’s values involve supporting the families that directly support our business and livelihood. We give back to the community in very meaningful ways, so you are supporting an organization that truly cares about the community.”

Green’s Lawn Care is focused on providing the best customer service. They have staff in their office to answer every phone call. They will also knock on customers doors to let them know we are on their property. Included in your service are rain gauges to help with watering needs. They also focus on education and content delivery to the clients via YouTube videos and emails. Their goal is the best results possible, and Green says that takes teamwork on both sides.  

For more information visit, and Social Media:


Gluten Free. Vegan. And SO MUCH MORE!
Their niche? Southern Baked Goods!
This month, it’s all about Easter and Mother’s Day to come.
Check out Chef LaCretia Allen in this morning’s segment with Cretia Cakes.

To learn more, visit