By MARGIE WUEBKER
Three Kentucky residents who apparently followed a Celina man
all the way from Lawrenceburg, Ind., have been charged with
first-degree felonies in connection with an attempted armed
robbery early Wednesday morning at his residence.
Jeffrey L. Shouse, 27, of Covington, Ky., appeared this morning
before Celina Municipal Court Judge James Scheer on two counts
of aggravated robbery. He sat with his head down during most
of the 9 a.m. proceeding.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox requested a $500,000
cash bond given the nature of the crime, the use of a dangerous
weapon and the defendant’s criminal history. Scheer approved
the request and appointed Daniel Myers as legal counsel.
Also appearing were his sister, 18-year-old Danielle Elizabeth
Cummins, and her friend, 33-year-old Cara Gayle O’Daniel.
The women, who share an apartment in Newport, Ky., each face
two counts of complicity to commit aggravated robbery.
The two women stood before the judge hand-cuffed together. Both
wept openly throughout the court proceeding.
Scheer approved the requested $100,000 cash bonds for the women,
even though O’Daniel sought a lower figure so she could
return home and make arrangements for the dog that has been
locked in her apartment since Tuesday. She also needs to make
a car payment due today, she said.
“I’m willing to give what they want,” she
said in a voice choked with emotion. “I need to go home.”
Cummins also pleaded for release, noting she is still in high
school and plans a career in the military upon graduation. She
was scheduled to begin a part-time job on Wednesday.
Scheer appointed Donna Post to represent Cummins and Judy Koesters
as defense counsel for O’Daniel.
The defendants were returned to the Mercer County Jail. No dates
have been set for their preliminary hearings.
They allegedly followed Ed McGillvary from Lawrenceburg, Ind.,
to his home at 1132 Teaberry Lane. McGillvary parked his car
in the driveway shortly before 2:30 a.m., walked into the garage
and activated the overhead door.
A masked man, who authorities later identified as Shouse, grabbed
the door as it was going down, activating the safety mechanism
and causing the door to reopen. He allegedly brandished a handgun
and ordered the surprised man to lie down on the garage floor.
However, McGillvary bolted through a doorway to the house, locked
the door and summoned help. The suspect then fled the scene
in a small dark-colored car. Their nighttime foray apparently
Celina Police quickly notified area law enforcement agencies
and provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle.
The Darke County Sheriff’s Office received a call from
a concerned citizen around 4 a.m. regarding suspicious activity
at Rustic Hill Market, located north of Greenville on U.S. 127.
Deputies located a dark blue, four-door Ford parked in front
of the market. Shouse and the two women inside offered no resistance.
Evidence at the scene indicated they had broken into a soft
drink machine on the premises and likely planned to enter the
market, according to Detective Sgt. Mark Whittaker.
A subsequent search of the vehicle, which matched the broadcast
description, yielded a gun, a black stocking mask and tools
that could be used in the commission of additional crimes. Also
found inside were a license plate, later found to be stolen,
and three potted mum plants reportedly taken from a display
outside Niekamp’s Farm and Flea Market, south of Celina.