No charges will be filed in Ohio County shooting death

After reviewing the applicable Indiana Code and the completed investigation from the Indiana State Police, along with consulting with Indiana State Police detectives, Dearborn and Ohio County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens has decided not to pursue any criminal proceedings against an Ohio County woman who acted in defense of Conservation Officer Powell.

The shooting took place Monday, Feb. 20, in Ohio County. The investigation revealed that at about 12:19 p.m., a 911 call came into the Ohio County Dispatch. The caller stated there was a disheveled young male in a pickup truck partially parked in the caller’s driveway, yet obstructing a travel lane on Ind. 56.

The caller requested a police officer to respond.

Powell had just gone off duty at noon, and was in his marked police vehicle, when he heard the dispatch and responded.

Once there, he made contact with Justin Holland, 25, who was digging through his truck. Powell asked the man to step to the rear of Holland’s truck. Powell observed Holland was acting erratic and appeared to be impaired. Powell attempted to place handcuffs on Holland for officer and public safety, while he continued his investigation, said Deddens.

While being handcuffed Holland, physically resisted Powell and a struggle ensued in and along the roadway.

“Eventually, Powell was on all fours as Holland was on top of him,” said Deddens.

Witnesses told police Holland was overpowering Powell with his size and strength. Holland began reaching for Powell’s service weapon, and Powell felt pressure on his gun holster from Holland.

Powell then heard a gunshot. A neighbor fearing for Powell’s safety fired a single shot at close range striking Holland in the upper shoulder. First aid was administered on Holland by the 911 caller and the neighbor, who had fired the shot. Holland was later pronounced dead at Dearborn County Hospital, said Deddens.

A search of Holland’s truck by ISP detectives revealed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. An autopsy was performed on Holland at Dearborn County Hospital. Toxicology results show Holland tested positive for methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, methadone, and dextromethorphan.

The Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office thanks ISP, Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, Rising Sun Police Department, Ohio County EMS, Ohio County 911 and Indiana Conservation Officers, said Deddens.