Jennings man arrested after standoff

An attempt to serve a warrant on a North Vernon man led to a standoff of nearly two hours.

The incident began when police tried to serve a warrant containing four felony charges against Joseph Laurence Hughes Jr., 33, Wednesday morning at his residence.

That Jennings Circuit Court warrant, issued Wednesday and signed by Jennings Circuit Senior Judge Fred Hoying, was for Level 5 charges of intimidation and carrying a handgun without a license and Level 6 charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm, according to a news release from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

Officers went to a residence in the 2100 block of Country Manor Street after receiving information that Hughes might be inside the home, Lt. Mike Mowery said.

Those officers and Indiana State Police troopers established a perimeter around the residence and made several attempts to call Hughes outside. Country Manor Street was closed to traffic to prevent motorists from driving in front of the home.

About two hours after police arrived at the residence northwest of North Vernon, Sheriff Gary Driver was able to contact Hughes by telephone and had Hughes leave the residence. He was taken into custody without incident, Mowery said.

On Thursday, a second warrant was issued against Hughes. It included a Level 5 felony charge of battery resulting in serious bodily injury and Level 6 felonies of domestic battery and criminal recklessness.

The arrest warrants were issued from cases that the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department had worked within the past two weeks.

Hughes is being held in the Jennings County Jail without bond pending his initial hearing.