I-Team 8

Docs: Lebanon triple homicide may have been arranged from Boone County Jail

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) — “Hey, I’m fixing to rid you of your problem.”

Investigators say those words were recorded between a triple homicide suspect and an inmate in the Boone County Jail just over 48 hours before three people were murdered inside of an apartment in Lebanon.

Mugshot of Chad Grimball. (Provided Photo/Boone County Jail)

The Boone County Prosecutor’s Office has charged 40-year-old Chad Grimball for the murders of Larry Stogsdill Jr., 40, Brannon Martin, 20, and Grace Bishop, 19, on Sept. 8. Stogsdill was the father of Martin. Bishop was Martin’s girlfriend. They were found shot to death in the 400 block of E. Walnut St., just a few blocks west of the Lebanon Hot Pond. All three had been shot in the head.

According to court documents, Grimball was recorded several times when speaking with Boone County inmate Johnathon Thompson. Thompson faces charges for domestic battery and invasion of privacy involving Stogsdill’s daughter. According to one witness who spoke with detectives, Thompson wanted Stogsdill, Martin and Bishop jailed for beating him up after Thompson beat up Stogsdill’s daughter. That same witness said, “Johnathon hated Beeker (Stogsdill’s nickname) because he wouldn’t run drugs for him.”

The conversations between Grimball and Thompson occurred in the days prior to the murders. Investigators say this conversation was recorded on Sept. 1:

  • Thompson: Do you remember that name I gave you?
  • Grimball: Yeah.
  • Thompson: Why don’t you uhh, add Beeker to that list too since they’re trying to start s*** for me in the inside.
  • Grimball: Sure. Got you, boy. That’d be priority.
  • Thompson: Yeah. Because I just ended up getting in a fight with almost half the block. Somehow, it’s going around that I’m a snitch.

During the same call, investigators say Grimball is heard asking another inmate to stop harassing Thompson.

Mugshot of Johnathon Thompson. (Provided Photo/Boone County Jail)

Later that day, they spoke again regarding Grimball recovering several items, including a watch.

“I’m not going to lie…. if uh…you might have to uh…be uh…the intimidator…, would they try to hold out,” Thompson is alleged to have said.

On Sept. 5, another call between the pair was recorded.

“Thompson offered Grimball a $2000 watch (different from the one he wanted Grimball to retrieve) in exchange for ‘helping me out,’” court documents state.

They spoke again on the afternoon of Sept. 6.

“But make sure to get that watch before you uh…” investigators allege Thompson to have said, not finishing his sentence.

“Hey. I’m fixing to rid you of your problem. Don’t worry about no materialistic stuff cause I’ll fix it,” Grimball responded.

Detectives state that Thompson accused Stogsdill of spreading rumors about Thompson cooperating with police. Another recorded call late on Sept. 7 includes Thompson questioning if Stogsdill was behind the rumors or if someone else was.

Court documents also outline the extensive police work that led up to Grimball’s arrest.

Investigators state cell phone records Grimball’s phone and his girlfriend’s phone show them in the vicinity of the crime scene during the time of the murders. A witness said Grimball was at the apartment on the night of the murders and surveillance footage shows him walking toward and then away from the apartment.

Investigators believe Alicia Duff, Grimball’s girlfriend, drove him to the apartment.

Grimball and Duff are also seen purchasing a handgun in surveillance video at the Frankfort Rural King on Aug. 20, according to court documents. Grimball had been released from jail earlier that day. Investigators say Grimball handed Duff his wallet and she paid for a handgun with cash, then returned the wallet to Grimball. Grimball is not allowed to possess a firearm due to his previous criminal history, including a domestic violence conviction in Ohio and an intimidation conviction in Indiana.

People who knew Grimball also told detectives that he had shown them a handgun that he had purchased.

On Oct. 7, the Lebanon Police Department said Grimball was arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon while the investigation into the murders continued. Online court records also show he was charged in late October for possession of meth and possession of paraphernalia.

Another witness spoke with detectives, telling them “Grimball was rapping about killing people” and “Grimball told him to watch the news and then said something about three (3) people,” according to court documents. Police say this conversation happened on the night of the murders.

While still in the Boone County Jail, Grimball was charged with the murders on Dec. 7. He faces three counts of murder, one count of carrying a handgun without a license and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm with a domestic batterer.

Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood says it is yet to be determined if life without parole or the death penalty will be sought.

Online court records do not yet list an initial hearing date for Grimball in the murder case.

Family members respond to arrest

Stephanie Spencer, the cousin of Larry Stogsdill Jr. and Brannon Martin, says she feels relieved that Grimball was arrested but says more justice needs to be done.

“Now that I can actually go to sleep at peace at night and not have to worry about someone breaking in my home and doing the same thing to me or my children,” says Spencer. “[Grimball] should be in prison, behind bars, sitting there for the rest of his life.”

Spencer says she knew Grimball before the murders happened.

“The look on his face when he came (into the bar I used to work at) … it shows that he’s no good. It was like, he’s up to some trouble.”