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Indiana Victims
Rest in Peace

Father arrested in brother-sister fatal shooting

Posted: May 7, 2008 04:32 PM EDT

Police arrested James Booher at his daughter's funeral on Wednesday.
Police arrested James Booher at his daughter's funeral on Wednesday.
Booher's four-year-old daughter, Makayla, was shot and killed by her five-year-old brother last weekend.
Booher's four-year-old daughter, Makayla, was shot and killed by her five-year-old brother last weekend.
Tony Lechner, Booher's brother
Tony Lechner, Booher's brother

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Police interrupted a little girl's funeral Wednesday morning in order to arrest her father.

Police arrested James Michael Booher for felony child neglect. His four-year-old daughter, Makayla, was shot and killed by her five-year-old brother last weekend. 

Police said the gun was Booher's. His son got it from the top shelf of a bookcase. There was only one bullet inside the chamber.

"He knows he shouldn't have had the gun there, especially within reach of Devon. He took the clip out and he thought that was enough," said Booher's brother, Tony Lechner.

Police made the arrest at the funeral because they believe he's a flight risk.

The family wishes police would've waited a little longer before arresting Booher.

"They didn't even wait until they put her in the ground until they took him out," said James' mother, Teresa.

This isn't the first time Booher has been in trouble with the law. According to a 2004 police report, Booher's kids were taken away because of alleged abuse.  A doctor at Riley Hospital said Makayla had broken ribs.

Booher's family just hopes other gun owners can learn from his mistake.

"Sometimes when you think it's the safest, double check," said Teresa.

Booher is in jail without bond and his other children are in foster care.

The Marion County Prosecutors Office expects to file charges against him Thursday.

Report by Liza Danver, WISH. Edited by Andrew Bonner.


Cops: Dad Forced Daughter To Kill Pet Cat

Police Say Indiana Man Wanted His Children To "Learn How To Kill"


(AP) A man was jailed Thursday on charges he forced his 7-year-old daughter to kill the family cat by holding a knife in her hand and making her stab the pet.

Danield J. Collins, 39, told his children during a visit to his home on Sunday that he wanted them to "learn how to kill" and gave his 11-year-old son a knife to do it, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

The boy tried to save the cat by hiding it under a sofa bed and putting ketchup on a knife when Collins went to the bathroom. But when the father realized the cat was not dead, he forced his daughter to hold the knife and then held her hand tightly as he drove the knife into the animal, Muncie police Detective Jami Brown said.

Police said Collins stabbed and strangled the cat himself, and told his son to throw the dead pet in the trash. Officers retrieved the carcass to be used as evidence.

The children told family members on Monday, the day after the alleged killing, according to the affidavit. The children told police their father was drunk when they arrived at his home and that he's a different person when he's drunk, it said. The siblings live with their grandparents.

Collins was being held in the Delaware County Jail on $40,000 bond. He's charged with one count each of animal cruelty and battery and two counts of neglect of a dependent. The battery charge alleges the girl was injured because Collins held her hand so hard that her hand ached.

The jail had no record of an attorney representing Collins and there were no published phone listings for him in Muncie.

Muncie police Detective Jami Brown said the case was particularly troubling because Collins involved his children in killing the cat, an 8-month-old tuxedo type-cat named Boots.

"I've been doing investigations for 10 years and this is really bothering me," the detective said.


INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) -- A pilot took his 8-year-old daughter up in a small plane Monday and crashed it into his former mother-in-law's house in southern Indiana, killing himself and the girl, authorities said.

A preliminary crash investigation leads "us to believe that this was an intentional act," Indiana State Police spokesman 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said.

The crash in Bedford, about 20 miles south of Bloomington, killed Eric Johnson, 47, of Bedford, and his daughter Emily, Bursten said. Emily did not go to school Monday, and Johnson's ex-wife, Beth Johnson, went to Bedford police headquarters about 11:30 a.m. to say she believed he might have abducted the girl, Bursten said.

That was about 45 minutes after the Cessna crashed into the residence of Eric Johnson's former mother-in-law, Vivian Pace, Bursten said.

"It is just gut-wrenching to think about what was happening to that child just prior to the crash," Bursten said Monday night at a news conference in Indianapolis.

Father and daughter had been on a trip together, but Beth Johnson expected the girl to be in school by Monday morning, Bursten said.

"She had a feeling this morning something was wrong," Pace told WISH-TV in Indianapolis.

Authorities will not know for sure whether the crash was intentional until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation, which could take up to a year, Bursten said.

State police had no record of disputes between the Johnsons, Bursten said.

Earlier, before the pilot was identified as a relative, Pace told The Times-Mail newspaper that she was in the living room of her one-story home when the plane struck the side of the building. She said everything fell off the walls.

She said she had heard a plane making a "horrible noise" before the crash.

The crash happened near Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport, where the plane had been leased, state police Cpl. Eric Dunn said.

Witnesses said the plane appeared to be trying to land when it veered sharply and went out of sight, The Times-Mail reported on its Web site.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground, though the impact left much of the plane lodged inside the house.

Rest in Peace
Devin Chandler

Dad suspected of stabbing 11-month-old son'Knife was buried all the way to the handle' in baby's back, police say

Updated: 1:24 p.m. ET March 15, 2007 INDIANAPOLIS - A man stabbed his 11-month-old son in the back, threw the boy out the car window with the kitchen knife stuck in his back and then drove away, police said Thursday. His 5-year-old son managed to escape unharmed.

“He was conscious, but the knife was buried all the way to the handle,” said Speedway Detective Jim Thiele. The boy, Devin Chandler, was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday.

Officers had found Kevin Chandler’s car but were searching for him. Thiele said Chandler is homeless and had been staying with some friends or family. Police think 31-year-old Chandler and the boy’s mother, Angela Limbrock, were arguing as they prepared to leave Limbrock’s apartment on the west side of Indianapolis Wednesday night.

Limbrock handed Devin to Chandler so she could retrieve his car seat inside the home. As she left the car, she heard Chandler swear at the boy and turned around to see him throw Devin out of the car window, according to a police report. When Limbrock picked up her son, she saw a knife in his back, the report said.

She ran back to the home, where residents called for an ambulance.

“We’re still trying to determine motive here, but at this point I have no reason to believe he did this to get back at the mother or anything,” the detective said.

Speedway Police Capt. Charles Upchurch said Thursday that the department will ask prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant if they do not locate Chandler.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to harm an 11-month-old baby,” Morgan said.

Chandler has been arrested several times for crimes including domestic battery, auto theft and driving while intoxicated, records show. He served time in an Indiana prison for cocaine possession and carrying an unlicensed firearm near school property, records show.

In 2005, police arrested Chandler after he allegedly kicked Limbrock in the head and body.

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