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Tue, Oct 21, 2014 03:57 PM
Issue of October 15, 2014
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Indiana State Police finish searching a car at Village of Marengo Apartments last Wednesday evening. Elbert Edward Brooks, 48, of New Albany was taken into custody in connection to the June 23 shooting near Paoli that led to the deaths of two men and left another injured. Photo by Chris Adams

Last murder suspect found near Corydon


3 arrested in triple shooting near Paoli


July 02, 2014 | 10:00 AM

An early afternoon shooting north of Paoli last week resulted in the death of two men and left another man injured. All three of the victims are from Paoli.

After 1 p.m. Monday, June 23, Orange County 911 received a call from a passerby, requesting medical assistance for a man lying near the roadway at 2350 N. County Road 200 West. EMS arrived to find Cory Michael Harris, 25, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. EMS additionally found a second male, Daniel Smitson, 29, walking outside the residence with a gunshot wound to the mouth, and a third male, 56-year-old Nicholas Fields, with a gunshot wound, laying inside his mobile home. Law enforcement was immediately called to the scene.

Investigators reported that Fields died at the scene as a result of his injury. The additional victims were transported to Indiana University Health Paoli Hospital and University Hospital in Louisville, where Smitson remains in stable condition. Harris was kept on life support so his organs could be donated and passed away last Tuesday.

Investigation into the shooting led the Indiana State Police to the Village of Marengo Apartments in Crawford County last Wednesday, where Elbert Edward Brooks, 48, New Albany, was taken into custody. James L. Davidson, 36, of Marengo and John R. Carpenter, 37, of Milltown were both wanted for murder for their involvement in the shooting.

A pick-up truck belonging to Carpenter was found near Central, south of Corydon, on Thursday. Law enforcement personnel searched the area that afternoon and well into the night, using a helicopter to try to find the suspect in the area. Concerned for officer safety, police called off the search shortly after midnight and towed Carpenter's truck.

At one point, Davidson's wife, Annette, was wanted for questioning as police believed she may have been harboring her husband.

On Friday night at about 6:15, Davidson was located by ISP investigators and members of the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at his brother's home along Hogtown Road near Marengo. He was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Orange County Jail.

Carpenter was arrested Sunday at 9 a.m. along Heidelberg Road, north of Fairview Church Road, southwest of Corydon.

After setting up and maintaining a perimeter overnight of the area, troopers and investigators searched a barn, where Carpenter was eventually located. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Orange County Jail.

All three men were charged with two counts of murder and single counts of Class A felony attempted murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Carpenter and Davidson were listed as habitual offenders, as well.

All three men pleaded not guilty in the Orange County Circuit Courtroom, with Carpenter and Davidson's first hearing on Monday and Brooks' on Friday.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the men were looking for drugs and money the day of the incident.

Smitson allegedly told state police that Carpenter and the two others came into the mobile home and ordered the victims to the ground. They allegedly stole guns then shot Fields and Smitson in the head and later threw the guns into a river.

The three defendants are each being held on $1 million cash bonds. The jury trial for Brooks is scheduled for Oct. 21, while the jury trials for Carpenter and Davidson were set for Nov. 18.

The investigation is ongoing.

Twitter: @_alanstewart

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email