News
Trial date set in LaFontaine homicide

By Joseph Slacian
jslacian@thepaperofwabash.com

Trial dates of Aug. 21-22 have been set in Wabash Circuit Court for Corey A. Kelch.


Kelch, 22, Marion, is formally charged with murder and robbery in connection with the April 25 death and robbery of Jordon Richards, LaFontaine. An automatic not guilty plea was entered on his behalf during a hearing on Monday morning, May 7.


Kelch was taken into custody Friday afternoon, May 4, at a home in Marion, and was transported to the Wabash County Jail, where he is being held without bond.


Kelch, under questioning from Judge Robert McCallen III, said he plans to hire an attorney to represent him. His attorneys are Scott Lennox and Joseph Sobek of Warsaw.


Richards was found shot to death in his home on Wednesday, April 25, in what officials eventually ruled a homicide.


A second suspect in the case, Kaleb Marin, 21, Marion, was one of three people killed in a two-vehicle accident on Sunday, April 29, in rural LaFontaine.


According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper, cell phone evidence allegedly link both Kelch and Marin to Richards’ death.


A home health care provider who discovered Richards’ body told police that Richards had told her on April 24 that Marin was going to spend the night with him.


Richards was left a paraplegic as the result of a 2016 traffic accident. He recently received a $100,000 settlement and recently purchased the home at 123 Clear Creek Drive in LaFontaine. He lived there about 10 days before he was killed.


The health care worker told police that she believed between $10,000 and $20,000 remained in the home, as well as several guns.


Investigators found neither guns nor money at the home.


A friend also told police, according to the affidavit, that two people had stopped by late April 24 to purchase marijuana from Richards. Marin allegedly went outside and sold them the marijuana, telling them they couldn’t stay “because ‘Mexicans’ were coming over with cocaine,” the affidavit continued.


ISP investigators obtained a search warrant to search the home and any cell phones and their contents found at the scene. Two phones were found, one belonging to Richards and the other to Marin.


Allegedly found on Marin’s phone were text messages between he and a person named Corey who was later identified as Kelch through textnow.com.


The texts between Marin and Kelch lasted from 12:43 a.m. to 3:13 a.m., the affidavit noted, and he went on to allegedly describe how he planned to kill Richards and how he planned to repay Kelch for his help.
 

Posted on 2018 May 15