Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 29, 2014

Plea agreement reached for Nichols



“We were in the home about a minute max before I heard and saw the gun go off. There was a big flash, and then I saw the lady drop …. I ran, and they followed me.

“As we were driving away, I said, ‘She shot her.’ Allison said, ‘I didn’t know I could shoot someone’ …. I thought she would have a little more remorse, but she didn’t.”

Nichols also said prior to the trio entering the last home, “Allison had one glove, and I had one glove on. She asked me for the glove.”

The defendant’s attorney, Ross Thomas, asked Nichols, “In hindsight, do you believe the whole reason of inviting you was because you had a gun?” 

He responded, “Yes.”

Thomas pointed out, “He (Nichols) got off track. He has two good parents who work hard …. His co-defendants took advantage of his age.”

Nichols told the victim’s family members, “I’m very sorry. This should have never happened …. I plan to change as a person and no longer do any criminal activity.”

Elizabeth “Dawn” Evans addressed Nichols, saying, “My mother, Nancy Hershman, was involved in many community activities. Her faith in God led her to many outreach activities in her church …. Your choice took from me my confidant, my cheerleader … and my mother. My wish is you learn from your choices.”

The victim’s sister, Darlene Grace, also told Nichols, “I don’t believe you’re a bad person …. (but) you left a large hole in our family. She was good, kind and helped everybody. I feel sorry for your parents …. I hope you’ll become wiser and complete your education …. (and) someday maybe you can reach out to others and help them.”

Judge Carl Taul approved Nichols’ plea agreement, which ordered the state to dismiss all remaining counts. He has to pay fines and court costs and shall be incarcerated for 50 years, with 20 years suspended to probation, and shall receive credit for days served. Following his incarceration, he will be on reporting probation for 20 years and during that time, he shall not commit a criminal act or violate traffic laws. He will pay probation fees and shall have no contact with Hodge, Moore or the drug dealer.

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