Indiana News

Man charged in deaths of southern Indiana elderly couple during home invasion

A couple was found dead at a southern Indiana home on Nov. 6, 2021. (Sgt. Todd Ringle via Twitter)

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (WISH) — A southern Indiana man has been charged in the deaths of a husband and wife, both 74, who were murdered during an apparent home invasion earlier this month.

Austin Kusturin, of Mount Vernon, was arrested Tuesday and is charged with burglary, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and two counts of murder.

According to court documents, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Hall found the couple deceased in their home located in the 700 block of Mulberry Street in Mount Vernon just after 8 a.m. on Nov. 6.

Elizabeth Hall was found in a downstairs bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest area, and John Hall was located in an upstairs bedroom also suffering from injuries consistent with a gunshot wound. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police found signs of forced entry at the home, and several items were missing from the residence, including the couple’s phones and wallets.

Neighbors reported seeing a suspicious man in the alley between their home and the Halls’ residence around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 5. The man was reportedly wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants with white stripes down each leg.

Video surveillance from a nearby house showed a passenger vehicle with a damaged headlight park behind the alley that same day.

According to court documents, an officer with the Mount Vernon Police Department recognized the vehicle as belonging to Kusturin.

Police used tracking from the stolen phones to determine the movement of whoever had possession of the devices.

The tracking indicated that the individual had stopped at a local gas station around 7 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Surveillance footage from the gas station showed Kusturin at that gas station around 7 p.m. wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants with white stripes down each leg and driving a passenger vehicle with a damaged headlight.

On Nov. 9, Kusturin was taken into custody.

After Kusturin’s arrest, police searched a storage unit belonging to the suspect and his mother. In the unit, officers found a gun belonging to John Hall.

Kusturin’s initial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

In the past decade, Kusturin has pleaded guilty to battery, domestic battery and drug dealing.