Escapees indicted on 25 counts by grand jury

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By Sharon Graves

The News-Democrat

A Carroll County Grand Jury indicted three convicts Monday on 25 counts, collectively, for breaking out of an Indiana prison  and allegedly tying up and beating three Sanders, Ky., brothers.

However, speculation that the convicts —  Jerry Lee Sargent, 59; Christopher J. Marshall, 49; and Bobby B. Cockerell III, 31 — would be brought back to Carroll County to face the charges proved to be a rumor.

The escapees broke out of the Branchville Correctional Facility in Tell City, Ind., March 20 and made their way to Carroll County on March 22 in an allegedly stolen pickup truck that ran out of gas along Interstate 71, according to a news story published in the March 25 issue of The News-Democrat.

The three men apparently hid in a barn owned by two brothers, Richard and Keith Marshall, on State Hwy. 36 East in Sanders. The men allegedly bludgeoned Richard Marshall and left him tied up in the barn. They then allegedly tied up and beat Keith in the home the two brothers share. A third brother, Barry Marshall, also was attacked when he came to the home to tell his brothers about the death of a relative. Barry Marshall allegedly was hog-tied by his hands and feet, according to the news story.

From the Marshalls, the trio allegedly stole a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck, $7,000 in cash, as many as 10 weapons and ammunition, and other items such as food and clothing, according to court records.

The men left the area and were captured in Nebraska nearly a week after they escaped prison, according to a news story published in The News-Democrat on April 1.

Sargent was indicted on two counts of first-degree burglary, Class B felonies, for causing physical injury to another person. He \ also was indicted on one count of theft by unlawful taking, a Class D felony, namely firearms or personal property with a value of more than $300. This charge is for allegedly taking firearms, cash and the truck. He also was indicted for theft of a controlled substance, also a Class D felony, when he allegedly took medication, valued at less than $300, which belonged to Richard Marshall.

Additionally, Sargent  was indicted on one count of receiving stolen property with a value of $300 or more, a Class D felony, by allegedly receiving the stolen pickup truck, and first-degree assault, a Class B felony, for allegedly causing serious physical injury to Richard Marshall with indifference to Marshall's life; one count of second-degree assault, a Class C felony, for injuries infliced on Keith Marshall; and first-degree persistent felony offender for having previously been convicted of two or more felony offenses in Indiana, and in Jefferson and Grant counties in Kentucky.

Bobby Cockerell was also indicted on eight counts, with the first seven being identical to those for which Sargent was indicted. The additional indictment was for being a persistent felony offender in Indiana.

Christopher Marshall (no relation to the victims) was indicted on nine counts in connection with the raid on the Marshall property.  The first seven counts are identical to those received by Sargent and Cockerell, pluse one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony, and first-degree persistent felony offender in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.

Class B felonies carry prison terms of 10-20 years plus fines of $1,000 to $10,000; Class C felonies carry prison sentences of five to 10 years, plus similar fines; Class D felonies have prison sentences of one to five years, plus fines.

If convicted of the PFO charges, court records show the men face 20-50 years to life in prison.

The three escapees will be facing other charges from the U.S. Attorney’s office, but those charges were unknown by press time Tuesday.