CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - He's a baby-faced teenager, but the crimes he's accused of could have him behind bars well past middle age.
Joseph Kingrey, 18, appeared in court Monday on charges he beat a well-known business owner and stole his cash.
Kingrey had to be helped into the courtroom by two other people and his answers to questions at times just didn't make sense. The prosecutor speculates he's still coming off of something that he may have ingested prior to his arrest Saturday, but it's Kingrey's alleged actions Oct. 14 that have him facing four felonies.
In court papers, police say Kingrey and at least two other friends broke into popular business owner Richard Shewmaker's home attached to his farm equipment store off Highway 135 in Corydon. The group beat Shewmaker with a wooden handle and stole at least $1700 and his checkbook, police said.
The 71-year-old had to have emergency brain surgery but should recover, his lawyer said.
"Mr. Shewmaker is improving every day," attorney Larry Wilder said. "He is in a secure place at University Hospital because there's concern if there are -- and there are in fact based upon the statements of Mr. Kingrey -- two other individuals that are involved in this crime and there are two other individuals who are out and about in the community, we want to make sure Mr. Shewmaker is in a safe place as he recovers."
Police said in court documents that Kingrey admitted to pulling off the crime with friends, but the prosecutor says investigators haven't been able to figure out who those friends are -- yet.
"The Harrison County Sheriff's department is a top-notch police force," Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk said. "I'm confident that they will leave no stone unturned as they continue to pursue justice for Mr. Shewmaker."
Kingrey could be sentenced to 70 years in prison total if he's convicted and gets the max on each sentence.