Four charged in quadruple killings; witness helped police crack case

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 28, 2014) – Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced new charges Friday in last week’s quadruple homicide on South Parker Avenue.

Earlier this week, police arrested Kenneth Rackemann, 24, Samantha Bradley, 20, Valencia Williams, 21, and Anthony LaRussa, 26, following the fatal shootings of four people inside the southeast side home. Killed were 21-year-old Hayley Navarra, 22-year-old Kristy Mae Sanchez, 43-year-old Jacob Rodemich and 47-year-old Walter Burnell.

Here are the charges as described by Curry:

  • Rackemann – 4 counts murder, 4 counts felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery
  • LaRussa – 4 counts felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery
  • Williams – 1 count murder, 4 counts felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery
  • Bradley – 4 counts felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery

An informant who worked security for Burnell helped investigators crack the case after witnessing the killings. Rackemann, according to court documents, also worked security for Burnell’s drug operation. They originally went to the home under the guise of arranging a methamphetamine deal with Burnell although their real intent was to rob him, court documents said. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the informant and Navarra were dropped off at the home in the 3400 block of South Parker Avenue. Rackemann said he would return with Williams and Bradley. When they came back, Rackemann pulled a gun on Burnell and told him to “come up off everything” in an effort to rob him. Burnell replied, “You’ll have to shoot me,” court documents said.

According to court documents, Rackemann fatally shot Burnell, and then stalked everyone else inside the house as he demanded to know where Burnell kept his safe. The informant said Rackemann shot and killed Burnell, Rodemich and Sanchez. He said Williams fatally shot Navarra. The witness told police that Navarra pledged not to say anything about the killings if they let her live; she was shot twice in the head.

Bradley and Williams were tasked with dumping stolen items and weapons from the home; they left a bag of clothes and cell phones in a dumpster at West Lake Apartments on the west side. Bradley tried to get rid of a gun by throwing it into a lake, but the gun didn’t break through the ice, court documents said.

A man later came across the bag while digging through a dumpster at the apartment complex. He turned on one of the phones and read text messages between Jacob Rodemich and his brother. The man called police and turned over what he had found.

According to court documents, LaRussa wasn’t at the home on South Parker Avenue when the killings took place but helped plan the robbery.

Curry said the suspects had several inconsistencies in their stories when interviewed. Investigators also found forensic evidence linking them to the crime.

Curry said there were currently no additional suspects being sought. All four suspects appeared again in court Friday afternoon.

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From left to right: Hayley Navarra, Kristy Sanchez, Jacob Rodemich and Walter Burnell