Jennings County man pleades guilty to Seymour murder


Tribune Staff Reports

A 33-year-old Jennings County man who recently pleaded guilty to being involved in the robbery and killing of a Seymour man in April 2015 received a 20-year prison term Friday.

Jackson Circuit Judge Richard W. Poynter’s order calls for Daniel L. Combs to spend 16 years in prison for a Level 3 felony conviction on a possession of methamphetamine charge in connection to the incident that led to the death of 42-year-old Gilbert Engle.

Combs also was ordered to spend four additional years in prison by Poynter for a second conviction on a Level 5 felony charge of assisting a criminal. The sentences would be served consecutively, and state law requires Combs to spend at least 15 years in prison before becoming eligible for release.

As part of the plea agreement, the state has agreed to drop seven other counts. Those include two counts of murder, two counts of robbery, auto theft and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Poynter gave Combs 273 days of credit time toward his sentence.

Prosecutor AmyMarie Travis said at the time the plea agreement was presented to the court that it shows Combs had agreed to accept responsibility for his role in the circumstances that led to the robbery and death of Engle on April 30.

Two other North Vernon residents, Jessica L. Jarrell, 32, and Andrea M. Hollin, 25, have yet to stand trial after their arrests in connection with Engle’s death.

Engle was found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest in an apartment on North Chestnut Street, and investigators believed Combs shot and killed Engle, Police Chief Bill Abbott said at the time.

They said they also believe Jarrell was with Combs when the shooting occurred during a night of partying in Engle’s apartment in downtown Seymour, police said.

Police also believe Jarrell helped steal drugs and cash from the apartment before the two left the area in a stolen PT Cruiser, Abbott said. The two later were arrested in Arcadia, north of Indianapolis.

Those two arrests followed on the heels of the arrest of Hollin in connection with the incident, Abbott said. Hollin surrendered to police.

Jarrell’s trial has been scheduled for Feb. 23, while Hollin’s jury trial has been set for 8:30 a.m. June 21.

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