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January 15, 2013

No bail set in murder case
Trial set for Allison Moore of Ohio

Wanda English Burnett

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.


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.

Charges dropped on over 100 in raid on Acapulco restaurants

Wanda English Burnett

In a raid that took place in September of 2012 that closed restaurants and saw 109 people charged with crimes, 107 of those people have had charges dropped against them with only the owners of the businesses facing charges The businesses were Acapulco Mexican restaurants in Lawrenceburg, Batesville and Versailles.

One of the owners, Adolfo Lopez of Greendale, is still being held in the Dearborn County Jail and faces charges that include corrupt business influence, forgery and perjury. Law enforcement officials say that over $4 million in business income was not reported for a four-year period - from 2008-2012. Another owner, Benito Lopez of Batesville, is out on bond.

The decision to drop the charges against the 107 people was made with Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard saying that they now have evidence to show those arrested were actually victims who were being exploited by their employer. He went on to say that it was more appropriate for the prosecutors to proceed with those who are responsible for the criminal activity and not the victims.

At the time of the arrest, officials noted that many of the employees had fake social security numbers. Since then, those charges have been dropped.

Doug Garner of Zerbe, Garner, Miller & Blondell law office at Lawrenceburg, is representing Adolfo Lopez. He told the Osgood Journal, "This is one of the worst, most troubling abuses of power I have seen." Garner said he has been an attorney in Lawrenceburg for the past 20 some years and could not believe what has happened with these people. He said about 50 to 60 were actually arrested, some spending a day, some two days, and more in jail, yet there is no specific evidence of their individual crimes.

Garner explained that the social security numbers that were fake, weren't necessarily stolen from someone else, they were just numbers. He said there was no evidence to show the persons charged were using a false social security number.

The Lawrenceburg attorney also noted that when all the paperwork was tallied up, there were charges brought against about 123 people, all but the two owners being employees of their businesses. He said they just "rounded them up and took them to jail."

Garner said the question should be "Why were they all arrested?" instead of people wondering "Why were the charges dismissed?" He further pondered about the validity of rounding up all these people, closing their businesses and arresting the owners on the suspicion that they have not paid or underpaid sales tax to the State of Indiana.

Prosecutor Negangard said they had probable cause to justify the arrest warrants for the 109 people. He said it was investigated and those people arrested who were working at the restaurants were found to be using false social security numbers. In some cases immigration papers were at issue.

Bobby Wood, who owns the building where the Acapulco Mexican restaurant was housed in Versailles, told the Osgood Journal that the owners of the restaurant have continued to pay their lease since they were shut down in September. He also noted that he has been told plans are in the making to reopen the restaurant in Versailles.

Wood said he doesn't have a timeframe on the reopening, or exactly who the owner will be, but has been told it will happen. Garner echoed that plans are in the making to reopen the restaurant. Lawrenceburg and Batesville restaurants have already reopened.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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