Homeowner finds murder suspect in his garage, holds him at gunpoint

Homeowner finds murder suspect in his garage, holds him at gunpoint

BENNETTSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – A homeowner is responsible for the arrest of James Patrick Duffy, the man suspected of shooting and killing Lewis Morrison on Saturday.

Police responded to the 3900 block of Vale Hill Drive in Floyds Knobs on Saturday to find 68-year-old Lewis Morrison dead inside the home. Police say his white Ford pickup truck was also missing from his property.

As Floyd Country investigators dug deeper, they found information that led them to 12812 IN-60 in Memphis, Indiana. That's where they found James Duffy, hiding in his father's garage. Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel says when officers approached the front door of the residence, Todd Duffy – James Duffy's father – ran out of the house and knocked on the garage door to alert his son to police presence.

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According to Noel, James Duffy then exited the garage through a back door and led officials on a foot chase.

"We ensued a foot chase, at which time the murder suspect shot at the officers, fortunately no officers were injured or hit," Noel said.

Duffy then proceeded to disappear into a wooded area—leading law enforcement officials into a multi-agency manhunt that took place overnight, according to Noel.

On Sunday morning Clark County and Floyd County sheriff's deputies were brought to the 12000 block of Bennettsville Road. A homeowner had called 911 after finding James Duffy hiding in his garage.

"The suspect was lying underneath the pool table in the garage of the homeowner. The homeowner then confronted the suspect, after he disarmed the suspect, and held him at gunpoint until members of the Clark County Sheriff's Office and Floyd County Sheriff's Office arrived," Noel said.

One neighbor who was out enjoying a bonfire described Saturday night's manhunt as a chaotic scene on a silent stretch of road.

"It was one helicopter, they had spotlights going all over the hills over here, all over my house and it was all hell breaking loose. I got my roommates and my dogs and my cat inside," Jeffery Smeltz said.

As for Duffy's motive, Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop says drugs in the state paint a bigger picture.

"These people want to rob somebody and take their belongings so they can buy more drugs and that's the thing in our community, it's the drug problem," Loop said.

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Loop said James Duffy got away with cash from Morrison's home, an amount Loop describes as "not worthy."

"I don't think it was worth the robbery-burglary for the amount of cash that was taken, just several thousand dollars but these people apparently thought it was worth it," Loop said.

The investigation is ongoing as law enforcement officers continue to search the area for Morrison's white pickup truck. Both sheriffs say they believe more evidence lies within the missing white Ford F-150 with the Indiana license plate of AL304.

Both Loop and Noel added that they are looking to make further arrests. They currently have James Duffy in custody as well as Todd Duffy, Sondra Duffy and Chelsea Wilson.

Todd Duffy is charged with resisting law enforcement and possession of a syringe, which is a Level 6 felony in Indiana. Sondra Duffy is charged with maintaining a common nuisance and false informing. Chelsea Wilson, believed to be James Duffy's girlfriend is charged with resisting law enforcement as well as assisting a criminal.

The three are expected to make their first appearances in court Monday at the Clark County Courthouse. James Duffy is expected to make his appearance at the Floyd County Courthouse.

On top of his Floyd County charges, James Duffy faces further charges from Clark County, including burglary, residential entry, resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness with a firearm, shooting at officers and warrants for escape.

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