Today's News

Brooke’s Trial Continues, Defense Calls Character Witnesses

John Brooke

The trial of John Brooke continued Wednesday morning in Starke Circuit Court. The Prosecution called its first witness of the day to the stand: Starke County Detective Ron Lawson. Lawson testified that he had been called to a shooting incident on Summerholme Drive at Bass Lake and received a briefing from officers on the scene. He also said that he had interviewed John Brooke on three separate interviews to correct or understand discrepancies between interviews with Brooke, Michael Drogosz, and Kimberly Hitchens, who were also involved in the incident.

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John Brooke and Kimberly Hitchens Combined Trial Begins Friday in Starke Circuit Court

John Brooke

Kimberly Hitchens

The combined trial of Kimberly Hitchens and John Brooke is expected to begin with jury selection on Friday, April 8th at 9:00 a.m. in Starke Circuit Court.

According to court documents, on February 15th, 2010, Starke County officers went to a home at Bass Lake to serve an arrest warrant to Michael Drogosz, who allegedly planned an ambush on police when they served him the warrant. Kimberly Hitchens told police that Drogosz was not at the residence when they appeared. Drogosz was at the residence and in possession of assault rifles and incendiary devices and he did open fire on police with an assault weapon. An accomplice, James Reed, reportedly called John Brooke to come to the residence. He appeared carrying an assault rifle and wearing body armor.

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Starke Circuit Court Judge Rejects Plea Agreement for Kimberly Hitchens; Trial Set for April 8th

Kimberly Hitchens

Kimberly Hitchens appeared in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning for a plea hearing. Hitchens was reportedly involved in events surrounding the Bass Lake shooting incident with Starke County police that also involved Michael Drogosz and John Brooke. She has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, two counts of Possession/Manufacturing of a Destructive Device (aiding), and Assisting a Criminal.

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A Recap of the Top 10 Stories of 2010

Story #10

Tony Kerby Memorial at the Yellow River

Tony Kerby lost his life in the Yellow River attempting to save his younger brother’s life. The good looking boy went in the treacherous waters to save his 8-year-old brother Dominick when the youngster slipped off a rock. Dominick was saved when a person in the park pulled him to safety, but Tony could not swim to the banks.

Community members were so saddened by the death that a cross was put at the site to honor his efforts and his life. The memorial was created by Shelby Clemons of North Judson, his wife, Danielle, and Misty Baldridge of Knox.

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Top 10 Stories of 2010; Story #1

Michael Drogosz

For the past two weeks, we have been scrolling down the top 10 stories of the year 2010. Here is the top story of 2010:

It was like a shootout from the wild-west. On February 15th, two Starke County officers tried to serve a felony warrant on Michael Drogosz at Bass Lake.

After he failed to come out, officers called for a SWAT team. Before those officers could arrive, officers Don Ferguson and Bill Dulin took fire from inside the residence. With bullets whizzing too close for comfort, the officers fired back in self defense.

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John Brooke Fails to Attain Plea Agreement; Trial Set for February

John Brooke

John Brooke, a suspect in events surrounding a shootout at Bass Lake in February, and his attorney, Dale Allen, told Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall Monday afternoon that they have failed to come to a satisfactory plea agreement with the court so they will move forward to trial.

The trial will begin on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. CT and will last the week. Allen said there could be up to 50 witnesses called to take the stand. A final status hearing will be held on January 26th to ensure all paperwork is prepared for trial.

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