Family of dead Orleans man questions self-defense claims

Billy Bledsoe (Source: Steven Adams)
Billy Bledsoe (Source: Steven Adams)
Steven Adams
Steven Adams
Source: ISP
Source: ISP
Source: ISP
Source: ISP

Orleans, In - By Janelle MacDonald - bio | email

ORLEANS, IN (WAVE) - A 38-year-old southern Indiana man is dead after a shooting late on the afternoon of Nov. 24 and the person who fired the gun that killed him is free. Now that Billy Bledsoe's family says they don't think they're getting justice in his death.

His father-in-law, Steven Adams, says he and the rest of his family saw something like this coming. For 14 years, Adams' daughter and her son's father had fought over custody of that child.

"He wanted to have his boy back this weekend and he came over," Adams said of the boy's father. "I said, 'You go back home. My daughter is going to deliver the child to you and if she doesn't you call the police.'"

Adams says the man did not go home. Instead he and his brother went over to the home the his daughter shared with her husband, Billy Bledsoe. We're not naming the two men because they have not been charged with anything in connection with Bledsoe's death.

"He was a good man and he never backed down from a fight," Adams said of Bledsoe. "He's sitting there on his couch and he's knowing it's coming. These two goons pull up in a pick up truck and he knows they're not there to sell cookies."

Indiana State Police say preliminary indications show Bledsoe was armed with a shotgun when the two men arrived and they shot him in self defense. Adams says even if Bledsoe had a gun, he's not buying self defense claims.

"If he pointed the weapon at them, he never had a chance to pull the trigger," Adams said. "These two guys come over there and he had a right to defend his home and they just out drew him and shot him in the chest."

He's outraged the two men weren't arrested while his son in law ended up dead.

"I didn't think you could go shoot somebody and somebody just says, 'Awwww, it's self defense, go home and eat turkey. You guys go have your funeral,'" Adams said.

An ISP spokesman says they're turning the case over to the Orange County Prosecutor's Office for a decision whether charges will be filed.

Indiana has a self defense law that is very similar to Kentucky's: You have a right to use deadly force with no duty to retreat to protect yourself or another person. You also can use force to prevent an unlawful entry of your home.

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