The mood was solemn as Allison Moore, 22 of Colerain Township, OH, was seated alone at a table in Ripley County Circuit Court Monday, January 14 with the hearing beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Moore is charged with the December 30 murder of Nancy Hershman, 68, Milan, where she allegedly shot Hershman in the neck, killing her. Moore and two juveniles burst into the Hershman home on Ellis Street, according to police and probable cause records.
Hershman's daughter, Dawn Hershman, was in the courtroom with other supporters along with more family members of the Hershman family and their pastor, Rev. Harris Long of the Milan First Baptist Church, where Nancy was an active member.
The Honorable Judge Carl Taul presided over the hearing where Moore was advised of the crimes she has been charged with: murder, burglary, and conspiracy to burglary. Murder carries 45-65 years in prison with both burglary counts carrying up to 20-years imprisonment each. Prosecutor Ric Hertel told the Osgood Journal that the death penalty was under review if the person or persons connected with the murder are found guilty.
The judge advised her that a plea of not guilty was automatically entered for her. She has 20 days to change the plea if desired. That is standard procedure in a court case.
Circuit Court Judge Taul explained that if found guilty, Moore could serve the terms as described in Indiana code concurrently, or consecutively, meaning she could get as little as 65 years or as much as 105 years with each crime carrying a $10,000 fine.
Trial date in the matter has been set for June 17, at 9:00 a.m. in the circuit court beginning at 9:00 a.m. Two weeks have been set aside for the trial proceedings.
Two 15-year-old juvenile boys have been arrested and are being held in connection with the crimes Moore has allegedly committed. Officials say the juveniles should have a hearing Tuesday, January 15 in Hamilton County in Ohio, where they have been held since their arrest on Jan. 5 in a juvenile detention facility.
The Ripley County Prosecutorial team is working toward getting the juveniles waived into adult court to face the crimes they are charged with. That hearing, if granted by Judge Taul, will be held at a later date, according to Prosecutor Ric Hertel.
One of the 15-year-olds was familiar with the area, having lived in Milan. One of the juveniles also purchased the gun that was allegedly used in the murder illegally.
As Moore was led from the courtroom by deputies, Dawn Hershman said she just couldn't look at the woman who is said to have killed her mother.
Moore is being held without bail for now in the Ripley County Jail. She was on suicide watch when she was in Hamilton County Correctional Facility after her arrest on Jan. 5. She waived extradition for her hearing on Monday, Jan. 14.
WOODY BUSH PHOTO
Allison Moore, 22, Ohio, was escorted from the Ripley County Courthouse by Sheriff Tom Grills and others on Monday, January 14 after a hearing in circuit court where she was officially charged with murder, burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.