Multiple charges filed in random crime spree case

Wanda English Burnett

A crime spree that spanned three counties - Ripley, Decatur, and Franklin - has landed three Ripley County men in jail where they face multiple felony counts including arson, burglary, theft, and vandalism.

Kenneth R. Partlow II, 19, of Sunman, learned on Friday, February 11 that he was facing 17 felony counts and eight misdemeanor counts in Ripley County. He is presently incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail already on charges from that county for the same type of offenses.

In a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in Ripley County Court, Partlow admitted he was involved in arson fires in October of 2010 and named others involved as well. He told how they just randomly found a mobile home that they believed to be abandoned, kicked in the front door, found some cooking oil and dumped it out. They then lit the oil and ran out of the trailer.

Indiana State Police Detective Kip Main investigated a list of crimes Partlow said he was involved in which included arson, burglary, vandalism, and theft, across the county.

The lengthy investigation involved a number of police agencies with charges of Conspiracy to Commit Arson, Class B Felony; Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, Class C Felony; Conspiracy to Commit Arson, Class D Felony; Burglary, Class C Felony; Theft, Class D Felony; Criminal Mischief, Class A Misdemeanor; Aiding Criminal Mischief, Class A Misdemeanor; levied against Partlow. These are for Ripley County alone. He faces multiple charges in Franklin County related to this investigation.

Travis W. Christenberry, 22, of Batesville, was arrested Saturday, February 12 on five felony counts and one misdemeanor count including arson, burglary and criminal mischief related charges stemming from the same investigation.

Christenberry had been arrested previously on a warrant from Franklin County on the same type of charges.

Added to the arrests was Eric M. Carpenter, 20, of Versailles, who was charged with Receiving Stolen Property relating to the ongoing investigation.

Also two juveniles, one from Ripley County and one from Franklin County are facing charges as well. The Ripley County juvenile is in custody at the Dearborn County Juvenile Detention Center on unrelated charges. The Franklin County juvenile is free pending a juvenile hearing in that county.

Across the county the random acts of burglary, theft, arson, and vandalism seemed to have no rhyme or reason. They impacted residents’ barns, businesses, homes, vehicles and properties.

Police began receiving reports sporadically from all areas and were kept busy taking reports and listening to the many acts of criminal activity that had taken place some in September and October of last year.

The list for some of those involved is lengthy and if found guilty they could serve some serious jail time for the felony charges.