JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana motorcycle gang member is headed to prison following a 2021 shootout that erupted while confronting a man with phony gang patches and tattoos.
On Wednesday, the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office announced that a jury found Michael J. “Billy Goat” Karnuth, of North Vernon, guilty of murder, attempted burglary committed while armed with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery committed while armed with a deadly weapon and obstruction of justice.
The prosecutor’s office said Karnuth committed these offenses to further the interests of a criminal organization of which he was a member. He faces between 90 and 130 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for March 15.
The case began around 4 a.m. on June 22, 2021. The prosecutor’s office said Dustin B. “Kutter” Linder, a member of the Pagans motorcycle gang, was with Karnuth, David K. “Karate Dave” Faulkner, Jason W. “Dutch” Brewer, and Gary W. “Mouth” Fletcher, members of the Warlocks motorcycle gang.
The gang members were at John Deere Road in Dupont, Indiana to confront a man who they believed was displaying patches and tattoos of those clubs but was not in fact a member, said the prosecutor’s office. Karnuth had previously seen the man with the phony tattoos and patches at a gas station in North Vernon. Karnuth traveled to Philadelphia to obtain information about the man before planning the attack. The gang members met at Karnuth’s house prior to traveling to Dupont and made multiple trips to John Deere Road beforehand.
When they confronted the man, the gang members arrived at his home with handguns, knives and handcuffs. As they approached, a shootout ensued, resulting in Linder being shot in the chest.
After the shooting, the gang members left in two vehicles and crashed into each other on John Deere Road. They disposed of firearms and gang paraphernalia and attempted to dispose of a vehicle, said JCPO. Police later recovered firearms in cornfields and various bodies of water. State police arrested Karnuth while he was hiding at a known Warlock house in Rising Sun, Indiana.