Three individuals have been arrested for the early morning Dec. 30 murder of Nancy Hershman, 68, Milan, reported Sgt. Noel Houze, Indiana State Police Versailles District public information officer.
On Jan. 5, ISP investigators with assistance from the Colerain Township Police Department, Cincinnati, arrested Allison Moore, 22, and two 15-year-old males from Colerain Township, one of whom used to live in Ripley County.
During a half-hour news conference Jan. 7 in the new Ripley County Annex, county Prosecutor Ric Hertel said the murder was connected to a burglary that took place in Cross Plains around 11:30 p.m. Dec. 29.
Ryan Jackson, Cross Plains, “said he awoke to a bang, which was the assailants coming through the front door,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed Jan. 7 in Ripley Circuit Court. “They then kicked in his bedroom door.” Jackson and his girlfriend, Emily Spencer-King, were in that room.
In the document, ISP detectives Tracy Rohlfing and Pete Tressler wrote, “Two men came into the bedroom .... (and) she heard one of the men say, “I’ll shoot you both.”
Jackson said one of the suspects, who was wearing a black sock hat, black neck warmer, black cloth gloves and a pair of “Shaq” shoes, was armed with a black handgun that he pointed directly at the tenant’s head and demanded money. They got away with $600-$700 in cash and an ounce of marijuana.
In the affidavit, one of the juveniles said Moore drove her car, a 1993 Buick Regal, and he, along with Moore and another teen, went into the house and took the money and marijuana.
Then five individuals, Moore, another adult and three minors, went to Hershman’s residence in Milan. A juvenile admitted he kicked in Hershman’s door. He also stated in the affidavit that he, one other juvenile and Moore entered the residence, while the other adult and juvenile stayed in the car.
The trio were confronted by Hershman. During a struggle with a 40-caliber handgun, the victim was shot in the head area once, Hertel said. The document stated Moore later admitted to shooting her. The detectives also learned the gun was purchased by one of the 15-year-olds.
Police do not believe anything was missing from the home. The two persons who stayed in the vehicle have not been charged with any crimes yet.
Hertel noted the Milan break-in “doesn’t appear as random as it was first thought .... There was some connection to one of the juveniles, who was familiar with the residence.”
The prosecutor added, “People always ask, ‘What can one citizen do to help in solving a crime?’ A local businessman encouraged a witness in this case to come forward who answered many of the questions police had. One person can do a lot.”
Moore is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center, Cincinnati, on a preliminary charge of murder. The two juveniles are incarcerated in a Cincinnati juvenile detention facility on juvenile charges in connection with the crimes, according to Houze.
He explained, “If Moore agrees to waive extradition, she could be brought back to Ripley County as early as this week. If extradition is not waived, it could take several weeks before Moore can be brought to Indiana.”
Hertel will ask the judge to try the juveniles in adult court because of the seriousness of the upcoming charges. “We’re going to do what we can to prosecute.” He called the victim “well liked and a pillar of the community.”