GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.

WPD had two suspects in custody by midnight after Worthington burglary was reported at 8 p.m. Friday

Joe James Turpin

Joe James Turpin

Two Worthington men, suspected of burglarizing a home in Worthington Friday evening, were in jail around midnight. Dispatched around 8 p.m., a WPD officer said a witness identified one suspect and the officer identified the other by a witness description of the suspect’s haircut.

Joe James Turpin, 25, of Worthington, and Timothy Frederick Coleman, 29, of Worthington, were both taken into custody and booked into the Greene County Jail very early Saturday, July 7.

The burglary occurred on Friday, July 6, at a home on Crist Street in Worthington. A neighbor called police and said a man had broken a window then left running on foot.

Deputy Marshal Russell Walls of the Worthington Police Department was on patrol, responded, and was met by the homeowner when he arrived. Someone had broken the glass on the storm door, unlocked the door and entered the home.

Walls talked to a couple of witnesses who were at a neighboring house when the burglary occurred. One heard the glass breaking, saw two men running away and was able to describe them and their clothing. The other one told Walls it was “that Turpin kid” and they described the other man had a “messed-up haircut” with a “poof of hair on the front of his head.”

Timothy F. Coleman

Timothy F. Coleman

From these descriptions, Walls identified Turpin and Coleman as possible suspects.

Walls located Coleman at his residence where he allegedly told the officer he had been to the home where the break-in occurred, drank a beer then went home.

Turpin was harder to locate. Family said he had gone to the races but Walls began patrolling and asking locals if they had recently seen Turpin. One person said they had just seen him riding his bicycle in town.

As Walls continued to patrol and look for Turpin, dispatch contacted him and said Turpin was on the phone asking if there was a warrant for his arrest. Dispatch told him that Officer Walls wanted to talk to him and asked him where he was. A dispatcher told Walls that Turpin said he was in Terre Haute then he hung up.

But Turpin had called 911 to ask about a warrant, so dispatch was able to see exactly where the call was coming from and it was not from Terre Haute, but from a location on South Jefferson Street in Worthington.

Walls was familiar with the address and knew Turpin mows the grass there. When Walls arrived, nobody answered his knock on the door, but Walls could hear a man talking behind the house. He walked around and found Turpin laying in some weeds talking on his cell phone.

Turpin was handcuffed and informed of his rights. He said he understood them.

According to Walls, Turpin told him that he and Coleman had gone to the home that was burglarized, that they broke the storm door window, unlatched a lock to get in, stole beer from the fridge, then got scared and ran away.

Turpin was placed in the back of the patrol vehicle and when Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Jackson arrived to assist, both Jackson and Walls went to Coleman’s residence where he was also arrested, handcuffed and placed in the patrol vehicle with Turpin for transport to jail.

Both Turpin and Coleman were booked in shortly after midnight on Saturday, July 7, with bond set for each at $16,500 surety with ten percent allowed.

Coleman was released on Sunday, July 8, after posting $1,650 cash. He will be scheduled to appear in court for an initial hearing and a criminal case is expected to be filed against him closer to the date of his hearing. It’s also expected that he will be facing the same charges as Turpin.

As of Tuesday morning, Turpin had not posted bond and remained in the Greene County Jail.

A criminal case was filed against him on Monday in Greene Circuit Court.

On Tuesday morning, he appeared in court for his initial hearing and was charged with:

  • Burglary of a dwelling, a Level 4 felony
  • Theft, a Class A misdemeanor
  • Criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor

During his hearing, the State was represented by Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw, a no-contact order was issued to Turpin, Judge Erik Allen re-set his bond at $15,000 surety with ten percent allowed, and Greene County Deputy Prosecutor Ellen Martin was appointed to represent him.