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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A federal judge in Indianapolis will not order a new trial for a northern Indiana man convicted of murdering his girlfriend more than 20 years after her death.

Judge Jane Magnus Stinson denied the request from Jason Tibbs in a ruling issued Thursday.

A jury convicted Tibbs in 2014 for the 1993 murder of Rayna Rison in LaPorte, Indiana.

Rison, who was 16, disappeared March 26, 1993 after working a shift at an animal hospital.

Her body was found 10 days later face down in a pond.  She had been strangled.

Her case garnered national attention, including being featured on “America’s Most Wanted.”

Prosecutors initially charged Rison’s brother-in-law, Ray McCarty, with her murder.  A newly elected prosecutor dropped the charge against McCarty the following year after determining there was insufficient evidence to connect him to Rison’s death.

Tibbs was arrested in 2013, five years after investigators received a tip from a prison inmate.

The inmate told authorities he saw Tibbs and another teen with Rison’s body in the trunk of a car right after she went missing. 

Investigators said the two had previously dated, and that Tibbs went to the animal hospital to “work things out.”

A witness later told investigators Tibbs said, “If I can’t have her, nobody can.”

Judge Stinson rejected Tibbs’ argument that his lawyers failed to properly present to the jury transcripts of the inmate’s police interview, as well as an FBI fiber analysis of evidence.

Judge Stinson found that Tibbs did not prove that any failures by his attorneys would have changed the jury’s verdict. 

Tibbs is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

BRISTOL, Ind. (WISH) — A Bristol man died after his motorcycle collided with a horse early Thursday morning in Elkhart County.

John Bryan, 45, was riding north on County Road 35 just south of County Road 4 at around 3:30 a.m. when he hit a horse that was standing in the road, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office says,

Bryan died at the scene. Police say he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The horse survived the accident with only a minor injury and was returned to its owner, who told investigators it had escaped “at an unknown time” from his property on County Road 4.

The crash remains under investigation.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — IU football fans will soon have another way to watch the Hoosiers in action.

Beginning this fall, Memorial Stadium will feature eight field-level premium suites on the stadium’s south end, immediately behind the end zone, Indiana University announced Thursday.

Each suite will include spacious sectional seating, a mounted big-screen TV on the awning, a drink rail with seats facing the field, and a personal suite attendant.

For those pre- and mid-game munchies, fans can fill a plate at an all-you-can-eat hospitality buffet and grab a can of beer or glass of wine.

Each suite costs $20,000 per season and includes 16 tickets to each IU home game, beginning with the Sept. 2 season opener against Ohio State. Pricing for a single-game suite is yet to be determined.

The new premium suites are the result of a partnership between IU Athletics and REVELXP, which works with sports and entertainment brands to offer fans an elevated gameday experience.

Click here to visit the IU Hoosiers website and find out more.

An additional view of the premium field-level suites at IU’s Memorial Stadium starting this fall. (Provided Photo/IU Athletics)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) — A traffic violation in Fort Wayne early Tuesday led to an arrest on gun charges, police said Wednesday afternoon.

Police about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday pulled over Rashad Jackson-Tatum in the 2400 block of South Clinton Street near Ivan Lebamoff Reservoir Park. Police say he was swerving and going under the speed limit.

When an officer approached the car Jackson-Tatum was drinking from a liquor bottle. The officer also noticed a gun and called for backup.

“Upon the arrival of other officers, the driver was taken out by force due to his physical resistance,” said a news release from Fort Wayne Police Department.

In the car, police found a total of three guns, one of them stolen.

Investigators found Jackson-Tatum was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.

Preliminary charges were listed in the release as unlawful carrying of a handgun-prior felony conviction within the last 15 years; theft of a firearm; resisting law enforcement; knowingly/intentionally forcibly resist/obstruct; and driving while being unlicensed.

Authorities have not responded to a News 8 email request for Jackson-Tatum’s jail-booking photo.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Kentucky bank where a deadly mass shooting took place in April will be relocating. The Old National bank in downtown Louisville says it will be permanently moving out of respect for the five victims.

It is expected to reopen at its new location on June 29.

The shooter was an employee who was originally from Floyds Knobs, Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a lawsuit against an Arizona-based company for making billions of illegal robocalls, a release made Wednesday says.

According to the suit, Avid Telecom, a telecommunications provider that helps customers make mass robocalls, has made approximately 7.5 billion calls to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The lawsuit also alleges that the company made calls for social security and Medicare scams, employment scams, and more.

Rokita the company was sent hundreds of notifications about the calls, but the company continued to make them.

Rokita previously sued an Avid customer in Texas federal court, after the company helped a customer send more than 4 billion robocalls from May 2019 to March 2021.

ELKHART, Ind. (WISH) — Elkhart police say that a man faces felony charges of attempted theft and identity fraud after attempting to take money from a bank account using an ID that was not his.

A release made Wednesday says that around 11:04 a.m. May 1, 44-year-old Randy Friend, from Goshen, Indiana, tried to withdraw money from a bank account at the Teachers Credit Union Bank in Elkhart.

While at the bank, Friend presented a bank teller with an ID that wasn’t his. The teller did not give Friend money, and called police. Friend left the scene before an officer arrived.

Police were told that Friend left the credit union driving a red Jeep Renegade. Shortly after, a second officer found the Jeep near an apartment complex and performed a traffic stop.

When police questioned Friend, he gave officers the wrong name. Investigators later learned that Friend was wanted in Goshen for allegedly securing a loan and purchasing the Jeep under someone else’s name.

Friend was then taken into custody. He was being held at the Elkhart County jail with a $25,000 bond as of Wednesday. A hearing is scheduled for August 1.

This is one of many fraud investigations the Elkhart Police Department has been investigating through the month of May.

On May 24, police asked for the public’s help in identifying three people connected to fraud investigations. According to the release, the three people were identified shortly after the public request.

Police say that two of the three people, a male and female, came forward and cooperated with detectives. As the two people worked with police in the investigation, officers did not press charges against them.

Officers have not shared the identities of the two people who came forward or the third person under investigation.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Department of Agriculture will accept submissions for the 16th annual Indiana Agriculture photo contest during the month of June.

The contest is open to all Indiana residents, and according to a press release, “was created to recognize the hard work and contributions of Hoosier farmers, as well as the beauty of the state’s agricultural landscape.”

Participants are encouraged to submit photos reflecting the wide array of agriculture. The categories photos can be enters under include:

Ten winners will be selected: two from each category and two overall. Winners will be invited to attend a special ceremony at the Indiana State Fair, where they will be recognized and receive certificates from Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Don Lamb.

Contest winners will have their photographs featured in the offices of the Lieutenant Governor’s Family of Business in Indianapolis throughout the year.

Contestants can submit up to five photos in digital format accommodated by a submission form for each photo. Photos will be evaluated based on creativity, composition, and category representation. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2023.

Participants can click this link for entry forms, guidelines, and criteria, or visit ISDA.IN.GOV.

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Two people have been arrested for their roles in the 2006 murder of a 20-year-old man from Kokomo, police said Wednesday.

In February, the Kokomo Police Department renewed its call for information on the death of Chad Rouse.

Just after 10 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2006, Kokomo police were called to a possible shooting in the 1400 block of South Armstrong Street. That’s a residential area off Washington Street south of downtown Kokomo.

Police arrived at the home and found Rouse. He had been shot in the back and died at the scene.

A female witness told investigators that a Black male broke into the house with a handgun and was robbing them when he and Rouse began fighting.

The witness said the suspect shot Rouse in the back during the fight.

The trial of leads in the case eventually disappeared and the case went cold — until now.

On Friday, a Howard County Grand Jury indicted two people in connection with Rouse’s murder:

A Howard County judge granted arrest warrants for both suspects on Tuesday.

Indianapolis police arrested Maddox later that day, while Brigham was arrested in Miami County, Florida, Kokomo police said Wednesday.

The case remains active for investigation. Anyone with information was asked to contact Capt. Mike Banush at (765) 456-7278 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017.  

Tips can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 800-262-TIPS.

Kevin Maddox (left) and Amber Brigham were arrested in connection to the 2006 cold case murder of 20-year-old Kokomo man, Chad Rouse. (Provided Photos/Kokomo PD)
Kevin Maddox (left) and Amber Brigham were arrested in connection to the 2006 cold case murder of 20-year-old Kokomo man, Chad Rouse. (Provided Photos/Kokomo PD)

News 8 has reached out to the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office for more information

FARMLAND, Ind. (WISH) — Family, friends, and community members will gather Wednesday in Randolph County to honor and remember a volunteer firefighter killed in the line of duty.

The funeral for Kyle Osgood, assistant fire chief of the Farmland Volunteer Fire Department, is at 11 a.m. at Monroe Central Junior-Senior High School in Parkland City.

Osgood, 31, died Thursday morning when the fire tanker he was driving to a barn fire went out of control in a curve, drove off the roadway, and overturned. Osgood and 19-year-old firefighter Zachary Lee were pinned under the truck.

Osgood died at the scene. Lee was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition.

Indiana State Police are investigating the crash.

Community invited to line procession route

Community members are encouraged to line State Road 32 in Farmland to pay their respects as the funeral procession passes through town.

The procession will end once it reaches Maxville Cemetery at State Road 32 and County Road 625 West, officials say. A private graveside service will follow.