Authorities investigate first homicide in town of Hope since 2001


James Mee

Data pix.

HOPE, Ind.– An investigation is underway after a double stabbing in Hope left one person dead Tuesday.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene in the 200 block of Scott Street around 6:30 a.m. Medics rushed two people to Columbus Regional Hospital.

“One of those individuals was later pronounced deceased at the hospital,” said Major Chris Lane with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s office. “There was a second individual that was also transported and was treated there with non-life threatening injuries.”

Photo from the scene courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff's office

The Bartholomew County Coroner said Tuesday 50-year-old Charles Mee, of Hope, died from a stab wound to the neck and blunt force trauma to the head and face.  Toxicology tests are still pending.

The woman with non life-threatening injuries was identified as 78-year-old Barbara Mee.

Investigators believe the violence started as a domestic disturbance between family members.

James Mee, 77, was arrested and booked into jail on preliminary murder and domestic battery charges. He was not injured in the incident. Mee was in the Bartholomew County jail on a 48-hour hold, according to the Sheriff’s office.

Neighbors on the normally quiet Scott Street say they were shocked to see police cars rushing into their neighborhood Tuesday morning.

“Around 6:45 in the morning, about eight of them rushing in here pretty fast,” said Jon Greathouse.

“Usually there is no trouble here,” said Steven Caldwell. “You hear stuff about drugs and this and that, kids maybe breaking in a car or something, but nothing like this.”

Property records indicate Mee shared the home with his wife. Neighbors say they were unaware of any previous trouble there.

“They were a pretty nice couple,” Greathouse said. “They’ve always lived here.”

This is the first criminal homicide case in Hope since September 15, 2001, according to Town Marshal, Matthew Tallent.

“This is a small little community, obviously, in the northeast part of Bartholomew County,” Major Lane said. “This is highly unusual for anything like this to occur.”

The Bartholomew County Death Investigation Team is handling the case. Investigators are still working to determine what prompted the disturbance and ensuing violence.

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