INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 10, 2013) – Two brothers accused of killing an Iraq War veteran after posting a fake Craigslist ad for an iPad appeared in court Tuesday morning.
Nineteen-year-old Tryon and 18-year-old Tyshaune Kincade are charged with two counts of murder and one count each of robbery. An automatic not guilty plea was entered on the brothers’ behalf Tuesday.
Police say the brothers shot Sgt. First Class Jim Vester, who died last week after answering a Craigslist ad for an iPad at an apartment on the west side. Vester had a wife and young son.
In the courtroom Tuesday, a judge granted a no contact order banning the brothers from speaking with their mother while they await trial.
According to court documents, investigators recovered a cell phone matching the number Vester contacted when answering the Craigslist ad. The phone was inside a vehicle Tyshaune Kincade was driving. That same number was also stored inside Kincade’s mother’s cell phone with a photo of her son assigned to the contact.
During their search of the Kincade’s home, the teens’ mother also showed detectives where the handgun was typically stored in the home. She said it was missing and the only people who would have had access to it would have been her sons.
Court documents also linked the brothers to several other crimes carried out in similar fashion. The same phone number used in Vester’s Craigslist deal was involved in the following crimes:
- Oct. 15 – Person held up and handed over $100 and a Samsung Galaxy cell phone after arranging a deal on Craigslist
- Nov. 5 – Craigslist robbery in which suspects took $350 in cash along with an LG cell phone and an iPhone 4
- Nov. 23 – Suspects took an HTC cell phone, iPhone 4 and $350 in a Craigslist robbery
- Nov. 30 – Man tried to buy an iPhone off Craigslist and made arrangements to meet the seller; he was greeted by two men armed with guns and held up
The community has rallied around Vester’s family. Three men in uniform sat through the court hearing Tuesday.
More than $50,000 had been raised through this fundraising page in just a couple of days. Vester’s family released a statement expressing gratitude to the community for the support and encouraging Hoosiers to give back:
As the media coverage continues, our family has been overwhelmed with the love and support of everyone. One thing we continue to hear is “I wish there was something we could do.” There is something they can do. Jim was fortunate enough to grow up in one of the most loving families there is. They instilled in him a very strong sense of integrity. Not everyone is as fortunate to grow up with such a supportive and loving family.
That’s why volunteer organizations helping to foster these values in our youth are so important. So as for what people can do – they can lead a charge in volunteering with the organizations that reach out to our youth. Programs such as Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Girls Inc, United Way, and many more. Pay it forward so that you may touch the life of someone less fortunate. Show kindness to someone that they may show it to another.
The family of Jim Vester
Vester’s wife also released a statement:
“Jim was a funny, caring man who loved to be around people. He always had a smile on his face and impacted the lives of so many. His boisterous laugh and rosy red cheeks will always be remembered by everyone. He was a very loving father to Gavin, and the best husband I could have asked for. Jim was very proud to be a soldier in the Indiana National Guard and volunteered his time in the Ceremonial Unit on the firing team.
I am so happy his story has (gone) viral worldwide so maybe people will think twice about trying to run a scam/robbery/murder through Craigslist or any other site. I want to focus on all of the good Jim brought to this world and not focus on the people who did this to him.
I have leaned upon this Bible verse many times throughout this tragedy, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV). God has given me more strength in this situation than I ever thought was possible. This past Friday a rainbow was in the sky and I know it was Jim saying he was at peace.
Jim was awarded two medals yesterday from General Umbarger that I proudly wore all day. Jim was my hero is so many ways. Thank you everyone for your condolences.
RIP Jim Vester, wonderful husband, father, son, brother, friend, soldier.”
– Jamie Vester, loving wife of Jim
The brothers will appear in court for another hearing on Dec. 20. A pretrial will follow on Jan. 30 with the trial set for Feb. 5.