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Man accused of murder appears in court
Updated on: 11.29.12

The person accused of shooting Brown County resident Jamie Shawn Simpson heard the formal charge of murder read against him in court Thursday. 

Benjamin “Jake” Munn, 38, made his position clear as armed deputies escorted him from the small hearing room in Brown Circuit Court.

“I didn’t intentionally kill nobody,” the shackled Munn said.

A probable cause affidavit filed Thursday by the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office detailed what investigators believe happened over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The probe began as a missing person’s report. Simpson’s father, Lyndon, contacted Brown County authorities on Monday, Nov. 26, because he had not seen or heard from his son since Saturday night.

A person had called the father to say that Simpson had been at a property on Peoga Road when a confrontation occurred, and that someone fired shots at Simpson.

Brown County Deputy Scott Bowling reported that Munn’s girlfriend, 33-year-old Tabitha Moore, also contacted Simpson’s sister-in-law Monday to tell her that Munn had shot at Simpson.

Bowling found Munn at a home in the 4700 block of Peoga Road at about 11 a.m. Monday.

Munn told the officer that he and Simpson had gotten into an argument on Saturday, but Simpson left, and Munn had not seen him since.

Munn told police that the dispute was over money.

Bowling noted in the probable cause affidavit that the green Chevrolet truck Simpson had been driving was in Munn’s driveway at that time.

At about noon Tuesday, Nov. 27, Brown County authorities learned that Simpson’s body had been found the previous morning in Indianapolis.

That concluded a two-day, three-county search for Simpson and launched a homicide investigation.

Kendale Adams, public information officer for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, reported that a resident taking out his trash to an alley near downtown Indianapolis found Simpson’s body.

The resident noticed a pair boots behind the trash cans, then saw a person laying on the ground, said Alfarena Ballew, Marion County chief deputy coroner.

Ballew said Simpson was not carrying any identification. He was identified by his fingerprints.

An autopsy revealed that he died of a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Investigators believe Simpson’s body was dumped sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, Adams said.

A male witness told police that on Saturday, Nov. 24, he drove Simpson out to Munn’s house, where Simpson’s truck had run out of fuel.

Along the way, Simpson complained about Munn owing him money.

When they arrived, Munn was not home, but he returned a short time later and drove to the back of the 44-acre property.

Police say Simpson began removing the rims from Munn’s car as payment for money owed. The witness then left.

In a police interview, Moore stated that Munn told her he had shot Simpson.

When she expressed concern about coyotes eating his body, Munn assured her that would not happen, because the body had been taken care of, according to the affidavit.

Bartholomew County and Brown County officers stopped Munn’s truck near the Brown-Bartholomew county line, on Mt. Healthy Road/Bartholomew County Road 700 South, Tuesday night. Police arrested Munn on the murder charge and Moore, the passenger, on an outstanding warrant out of Lawrence County for identity deception.

Moore has not been charged in the murder case.

Initially, Munn blamed the shooting on a man who forced him at gunpoint to load Simpson’s body into his truck before driving to Indianapolis to dispose of the body, the affidavit states.

The next day, Munn requested another interview, where he detailed another version of events surrounding Simpson’s death.

Munn told police that he when he drove to the back of the Peoga Road property, he got his truck stuck. He walked back toward where Simpson was removing the tires. Munn told Simpson he needed to leave, but Simpson walked toward him.

Munn told police they were yelling at each other when he ran at Simpson and fired two shots at him.

Munn stated that Simpson went to the ground.

Munn then put his truck in four-wheel drive and went to a friend’s house in Columbus.

Along the way, he threw out the 9mm handgun he used, according to the affidavit.

Munn stated that he returned to the property late Sunday or early Monday. He told police he found Simpson’s body, but avoided directly answering questions about moving it.

“I’ll just say this, when my truck came back, the body wasn’t in it,” Munn stated in the affidavit.

Brown Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart ordered Munn to be held in the Brown County Jail without bond. She set his trial date for March 13.

If convicted, Munn faces between 45 and 65 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

-- Kevin Lilly, Brown County Democrat

Obituaries
See Full List »

Elmer Cole Wilborn, 82, Brown County
  Husband of Martha Ann (Windle) Wilborn of Brown County

Harold Edwin 'Hal' Taylor, 96, Bloomington
  Former rector at St. David's Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom

Sharon K. Fox, 60, of Worthington
  

  • February 28
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 28
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • February 28
    Youth Music Showcase at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • February 28
    Bluebird box building at BCSP
    9 a.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 1
    'Paddington' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 2
    Gnaw Bone Sewage District
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 2
    High school to show film on current political issues in education
    6:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • March 2
    Deadline for free trauma care workshop
  • March 3
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 3
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • March 3
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 3
    Bean Blossom Sewer Board
    7:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 4
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 4
    Nashville Main Street Committee
    9:30 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 4
    Brown County SWCD
    5 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 4
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    5 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 4
    Woodworkers Club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 5
    Go Club meeting Thursday
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 5
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • March 5
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • March 5
    Nashville Town Council
    6:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 5
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 6
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 6
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 7
    Meet your legislators at County Office Building
    10 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 7
    Meet 'Wilderness Plots' author at the library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 7
    Music celebration at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 8
    'Wilderness Plots'-themed concert planned
    4 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • March 8
    Brown County bridal tour slated
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m. various locations
  • March 8
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 9
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 10
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 10
    Soil & water conservation district to celebrate 62 years
    6 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • March 10
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship, 602 State Road 135 North
  • March 10
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive; CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • March 11
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 12
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 13
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • March 14
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • March 14
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 19
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 20
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 21
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • March 21
    Jackson Township VFD yard sale
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jackson Township Fire Department, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • April 24
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 25
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 26
    County history center dedication slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • April 26
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont