Mardale Totten

Stabbing was self-defense; man ID'd

Police believe the stabbing was the result of a domestic dispute

September 28, 2009

Fort Wayne Police said the fatal stabbing of a city man at 4 a.m. Saturday by a woman he knew was inflicted in self-defense, although ruled the city's 16th homicide.

The woman, who had been taken into custody after police said she stabbed 30-year-old Mardale Totten in the neck at an apartment at 708 Oaklawn Court, in Chapel Oaks complex, was interviewed, then released without being charged, according to Office Roy Sutphin of the Fort Wayne Police Department.

“We don't release people when we know they killed somebody,” said Sutphin. “And we just don't release people who could be a danger to the public.”

After interviewing several witnesses and the woman, Sutphin said police believe the stabbing was the result of a domestic dispute between Totten, who has a prison record for violence, and the woman. What the domestic dispute exactly entailed, Sutphin would not comment.

“The investigation is ongoing, but for the moment, until proven otherwise, we're going on the aspect that it was along the lines of self-defense,” Sutphin said.

Totten's death was ruled the city's 16th homicide of 2009 by the Allen County Coroner's Office.

On Saturday, police responding to the Oaklawn Court address found Totten unconscious and bleeding. He was treated at the scene before being rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

Sutphin said that because the woman has not been charged with any crime, police are not required to release her name.

When Totten was 18, he was convicted of stabbing his uncle, Marquas K. Smith, to death in 1997. He served 10 years of a 15-year sentence for aggravated battery before being released in 2008, according to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Christine Lindsey

Victims' names released in LaPorte County double homicide

September 19, 2009

Two people are dead after a shooting in LaPorte County and police have arrested a possible suspect involved in the shooting.

42-year-old Clayton Scott Lindsey of rural New Carlisle was taken into custody without incident Saturday night after being contacted by police through his cell phone. He's facing two preliminary charges of murder. The prosecuting attorney's office says it will file formal charges sometime this week.

The Laporte County Sheriff's office says the homicide victims are 39-year-old Christine Lindsey of Kingsford Heights, Indiana and 38-year-old Chad Zolman of Defiance, Ohio. Police have not confirmed Zolman's relationship with Christine at this time other than saying they are believed to be acquaintances.

Christine and Clayton Lindsey were married but separated.

Family members say Lindsey killed his estranged wife, who they call Tina Heinis, and her male friend. Family members also say Heinis was in the process of getting divorced from Lindsey – and that Heinis tried previously to get a restraining order against Lindsey but a judge denied her attempt. Family members say Lindsey had a history of harassing and threatening Heinis and her family.

The couple has two kids; but family members say they were not at the home of Heinis at the time of the shooting.

Neighbor Robert Sampson recently moved to the Kingsford Heights neighborhood in LaPorte County from South Bend. He and his wife brought their five kids to get away from crime.

"We wanted something safe, for the kids to grow up and play," said Sampson. After Saturday’s double homicide, though, he and his wife are having second thoughts.

"My wife's real paranoid, like she wants to move like immediately," he said. “It's mind blowing, it's just something we would never expect to happen around here.”

Police responded to the 3800 block of Nordway road in Kingsford Heights Saturday at approximately 3:36 p.m. to investigate a report of shots fired in a home. Shortly thereafter, deputies found the two victims inside fatally shot.

Autopsies were performed Monday morning.

Lindsey is currently being held in the LaPorte County Jail with no bond on preliminary charges of Murder, class "A" felonies. Formal charges are expected to be filed this week.


LaPORTE | A Mill Creek-area man agreed to a 75-year prison sentence for the shotgun slayings of his estranged wife and her male companion.

Clayton Lindsey, 44, pleaded guilty Friday in LaPorte Circuit Court to two counts of murder.

He was scheduled to stand trial starting May 23 but in exchange for the plea he will not face a potential maximum 65-year sentence on each count.

The plea also calls for 25 years probation upon his release from incarceration.

Lindsey admitted to the September 2009 killings of Christine Lindsey, 39, and Chad Zolman, 38.

The Ohio man and Christine Lindsey were in her Kingsford Heights residence when Clayton Lindsey crashed into his estranged wife's parked vehicle and stormed inside killing both victims with shotgun blasts, according to LaPorte County Sheriff's Department.

Judge Tom Alevizos took the guilty plea under advisement and scheduled sentencing for July 18.

See post for dear friend Chad Zolman here.

Chad Michael Zolman

Chad Michael Zolman

Lindsey sentenced to 75 years for murder

July 19, 2011

LA PORTE — Katherine Heinis tried remaining strong but toward the end couldn't fight back tears when calling her former son-in-law a coward and how his brutal slaying of her daughter caused her in many ways also to die.

Clayton Lindsey was given a 75-year prison sentence Monday for two counts of murder and Class B felony battery.  He must also serve 10 years probation upon his release.

At 44, Judge Tom Alevizos told Lindsey he'll like spend the rest of his life behind bars.  With good time credit, the earliest Lindsey can expect to be released is at age 81.

Prior to sentencing, Lindsey apologized for fatally shooting his estranged wife, Christine Lindsey and Chad Zolman in September of 2009.

The Mill Creek area man drove into his estranged wife's vehicle, broke into her home and then gunned down Mrs. Lindsey and Zolman with a shotgun inside a Kingsford Heights residence that she moved into after she had filed for divorce.

Lindsey over tears told his former mother-in-law ‘'I loved her'' when she asked why he killed them.

Heinis told Lindsey pursuing boyfriends wasn't why she left him as he had claimed.  It was his physical abuse.

‘'I know what was going on inside that home,'' Heinis said.  She said Christine on several prior occasions left but eventually returned under the belief that Lindsey would come after her and even their children if she left him for good.

‘'She knew she would never escape him,'' Heinis said.

Heinis also told Lindsey in the courtroom ‘'you treated her like a possession. She was a person. You thought of no one but yourself,'' said Heinis.

‘'Just remember your children and what you did to them,'' said Heinis.

Zolman, 38, from Ohio was highly regarded by those who knew him including children he coached in football and other sports.

His 4-year old niece regularly places peanut butter cookies on his grave, said his mother, Deborah Zolman.  ‘'He's missed by many more than I could have imagined,'' she said.

Defense attorney David Jones told the court the plea agreement was reached after several months of negotiating with prosecutors.  He felt one factor working in his client's favor was admitting guilt and sparing the families of the victims from having to endure a trial.  ‘'That's the best he can do. He can't take back what happened,'' Jones said.

La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk said no amount of time can ever equal the pain suffered by the victims but felt terms of the plea achieved a high level of justice in the case.


Chad Michael Zolman, 38, Defiance, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 19, 2009, at 3:37 p.m. in LaPorte, Indiana.

He was born in Napoleon, Ohio, on September 3, 1971, the son of Joseph and Deborah (Bowers) Zolman. He married Lisa Marie White on May 9, 1993, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chad is survived by his wife, Lisa; son, Chad Duane; and daughter, Kayleigh Marie, both at home. Also surviving are his parents; three brothers, Scott, Las Vegas, Nevada, Ryan, Defiance, and Shawn (Nicole), of Defiance; nephew Troy Zolman, Idaho; nieces, Scylea and Amelia Zolman and Melody Sapp of Defiance and Dru Zolman, Idaho; godparents, Don and Phyllis Hohenbrink; and friends too numerous to list.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Paul Zolman; grandmother, Amelia (Zolman) Kreimbrink; stepgrandfather, August Kreimbrink; grandparents, Benjamin and Alice (Wentworth) Bowers.

A 1991 graduate of Liberty Center High School and Four County Vocational School, Chad enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served in the Gulf War. He was a one-time member of the Defiance VFW Post 3360 and the Defiance Eagles Aerie 372. He assisted as a Tinora Jr. High School wrestling coach and coached the 5-6th grade Tinora Little Girls' Softball Team. He was an avid bowler, accomplishing two 300 games, and golfed on the St. Michael's golf league. Chad was also a member of the St. Michael's Catholic Church parish.

As a loving, warm-hearted husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend, he will be sadly and eternally missed by all. May God's angels always be at his side.

Public visitation will be held from 2-4 and 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Mast-Mock-Hoffman-Hanenkrath-Clevenger-Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance. Reciting of the rosary will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Funeral Mass will be held by Father Dave Tscherne at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 5480 Moser Road, Defiance, at 11 a.m. Thursday, with military rites and burial at Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the entire family requests donations be made to the two surviving children for future educational purposes.

See post for dear friend Christine Lindsey here.

Jamison Essick

Teenager Facing Felony Charges To Undergo Examination

September 17, 2009

(BEDFORD) - A Bedford teenager that is accused of battery that eventually led to the death of his girlfriend’s 7 month old baby is set to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

17-year-old Casey Garrsion of Bedford is facing a class B felony of aggravated assault, the charges stem from the death of Jamison Essick on July 16th of this year.

Court documents showed that Essick died of multiple skull fractures consistent with blunt force trauma. According to a report in the Times Mail, Garrison was dating Essick's mother at the time of the incident.

Garrison is set to undergo the psychiatric evaluation to determine if he will be tried as an adult, and the evaluation is set to take place sometime this afternoon.

Garrison is currently being held in the Jackson County juvenile facility, but if the case is move to adult court he will be transferred to the Lawrence County Jail.


Jamison A. R. Essick

Dec. 11, 2008 — July 16, 2009

Jamison Allen Ray Essick, seven-month-old son of Kaitlin “Erin” Essick and Steven Allen Tolbert, died July 16 at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

Survivors include his mother, Kaitlin Essick and her fiance, Casey Garrison, both of Bedford; his father, Steven Tolbert, Greencastle; two grandmothers; his great-grandmother; two aunts; two uncles; several cousins and other relatives; and his caregivers, Jane Mitchell and Jean Mullis.

Memorial services will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Friendly Bible Church, 730 Pearless Road, Bedford, with Tim Jenkins officiating.


Teen gets 8 years for killing baby

June 4, 2010

BEDFORD — Still grieving, still imagining she hears his cries, Jane Mitchell confronted Casey Garrison in Lawrence Superior Court II and told him of the pain and devastation .

Jason Lee Joy

Woman Arrested For Man's Murder

September 3, 2009

(BEDFORD, IN) - A woman has been arrested by Bedford Police for a murder taking place in an apartment complex in Bedford.

According to a press release from the Bedford Police Department, police were called to the 3300 block of Michael Avenue at the Ridgewood Apartment Complex to discover a man laying in a pool of blood in the street.

After questioning 38-year-old Susan Renee May at the scene, police transported and later arrested May for the death of the man.

Police say that the victim of the shooting, 35-year-old Jason Lee Joy from Lawrence County and Susan May from Hendricks County had been engaged in a prior relationship.

Both May and Joy were homeless and had been staying at a friend's apartment at the time of the shooting.

Jason Joy is suspected to have died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds from a 9mm handgun while he was working on a car.

He was found lying face down in the street when police arrived.

One nearby resident reportedly looked out her window following the sound of gunshots to see what the commotion was when, she stated she saw the victim fall to the ground.

The witness then said that after the man fell to the ground, a woman walked up to his body and fired 5 additional bullets into the man.

The scene of the crime had previously been marked off for a couple of hours during the investigation; as of 9:00PM last night the scene had be re-opened.