Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 7, 2012

Brownsburg man pleads not guilty to murder

Staff reports
CNHI

CRAWFORDSVILLE — A 39-year-old Brownsburg man is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail, facing charges of murder, aggravated battery, and more. He has pleaded not guilty on all charges.

Matthew Eric Hickman, 5680 N. 901 E., is accused of shooting and killing Mark J. Welch, 51, of Darlington.

Hickman was arrested at his home at about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 27 by Indiana State Police and Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputies.

Montgomery County authorities said they received a call shortly before 9:30 p.m. Nov. 26 reporting that Welch was being beaten with a gun. When they arrived, they found Welch lying on the ground. Police say they began administering first aid but then discovered that Welch had been shot.

A female witness told police that Hickman had fled the scene in a two-tone 1992 Chevrolet pickup truck with a broken window. She also told authorities where Hickman lived.

Police obtained search and arrest warrants before going to the rural Brownsburg home and making the arrest. Hickman was taken into custody without incident.

Hickman appeared in Montgomery Circuit Court Nov. 28 and formal charges were filed at that time. He faces four felony counts that include murder, aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon, and reckless homicide.

According to court documents, Hickman and Welch got into an argument while sitting in the cab of Hickman’s truck that was parked in Welch’s driveway.

Krisann Hood, who had previously dated Hickman and had been staying at his residence, was sitting between the men. Hood told police that Hickman got out of the driver’s side of the truck and pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun. She said he walked to the passenger side of the truck and struck the window with the gun until the widow broke.

She said Hickman then opened the passenger side door and tried to drag Welch out, but was unsuccessful. Hood said she then got out of the truck on the driver’s side.

Testimony did not specify what the argument was about, but Hood said Hickman told her, “See what you made me do. I just killed somebody, now I will have to kill myself.”

She said she then saw Hickman pull Welch onto the gravel driveway.

Hood said she attempted to enter Welch’s home, but the door was locked. She said Hickman came up behind her and kicked the door open to allow her entry, and then left in his truck. Hood said she called 911 and then checked Welch for breathing and a pulse but was unable to find either.

Investigators say they found blood on the driveway, a spent 12-gauge shotgun shell, and bootprints in the gravel and on the door, which collaborate Hood’s account. Welch had been shot at close contact in the right shoulder, with exit wounds through his arm and back into his chest.

Upon arrest, police say Hickman waived his rights and agreed to speak to authorities. In a probable cause affidavit he admitted to the shooting but claimed the gun had discharged inadvertently.

Hickman is being represented by attorney William Goebel.

Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Harry Siamas set a pre-trial conference for 9 a.m. Feb. 4.