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Southern Indiana man gets 240 years for 2 murders, attempted murder and robbery

A former Social Security Administration employee based in Anderson, Indiana, was facing federal charges after being accused of defrauding the organization over three years and stealing nearly $50,000 from 2019 to 2022. (WISH Photo)

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A man convicted of fatally shooting his wife and a bystander and injuring a third person at a southern Indiana gas station last year was sentenced to 240 years in prison Wednesday.

A jury found Cherok Ameer Douglass, of New Albany, guilty in August of two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Prosecutors said Douglass killed Brandee Kay Douglass, 38, and Lorin M. Yelle, 43, of Louisville, Kentucky, in April 2022. Police chased him to a nearby restaurant where he took the owner, Winnie Wen, as a hostage. She was injured falling from his vehicle.

Investigators did not believe there was any connection between Yelle and Cherok or Brandee Douglass. They said Yelle was a customer at the gas station and was shot walking to his vehicle.

Floyd Superior Court Judge Carrie Stiller gave Douglass the maximum sentence, calling his crimes “the worst of the worst.”

Douglass apologized to family members of his victims but said he planned to appeal the jury’s verdict.

Court documents show Douglass was under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine on the day of his arrest.

“I still don’t remember what happened that night,” Douglass said during the sentencing hearing.

Defense attorneys asked for the minimum sentence of 131 years.