Weapons charge lands teen in jail

For The Tribune

A 16-year-old from Columbus has been waived to adult court, accused of two felony intimidation charges involving threatening to kill another individual with what appeared to be a revolver — later determined to be a BB gun.

Tyler L. Howard, 16, was arrested Thursday on a warrant on the charges by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. He was being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in Columbus in lieu of $35,000 bond, jail officials said.

The case was filed directing Howard into adult court by Bartholomew County Deputy Prosecuting Lindsey Kay on Thursday.

Howard is being tried in adult court in Bartholomew County because he was previously waived to adult court in Jackson County, Kay said. Once a juvenile is waived into an adult court, juvenile courts no longer have jurisdiction over any subsequent felony charges the juvenile faces, Kay said.

Columbus police officers were sent to a Columbus address May 29 about a gun being used in a disturbance, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Columbus Police Sgt. Ben Goodin.

The victim told Goodin that Howard arrived at his residence as a passenger in a late 1990s Ford truck and asked him to provide drugs, court documents state.

The victim said he was not involved in that lifestyle anymore, court documents state. Howard then is accused of loading a clip into what appeared to be a handgun and racking the slide, according to court documents.

Howard is accused of pointing the gun at the victim and threatening to kill him if he didn’t provide Howard with drugs, court documents state. The victim backed away from the truck, and the driver and Howard drove off, court documents state.

The truck then passed the residence again, and Howard threatened to shoot everyone who was on the porch, court documents said.

Another Columbus police officer located the truck as it entered Clifty Park and stopped near a trash receptacle, court records state. The officer identified the driver and Howard and asked where the gun was.

The driver first said he didn’t know but then said it was in the trash receptacle. The officer found a silver and black handgun in the trash and then determined it was a BB gun, court documents state.

The BB gun resembled a large caliber 6-shooter revolver, court documents state. Goodin wrote in the probable cause affidavit that the weapon looked realistic and, in his opinion, no one would recognize it as a BB gun without physically handling and inspecting it.

Officers later learned Howard had recently been waived to adult court on a felony auto theft and attempted robbery charges in Jackson Circuit Court in Brownstown.

In those cases, Howard is accused of taking a vehicle from a Circle K gas station in Seymour in January, according to court documents. He also is accused of attempting to rob the gas station with another unidentified individual by entering the station, with one blowing a whistle and saying, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot you.”

The store clerk initially thought it was a joke and said, “How about if I push the panic button,” then telling them she was calling the police. The two then left the station without obtaining any money, court documents state.

A no-contact order was issued by Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge James Worton ordering Howard to not have any contact with the resident who was allegedly threatened, court documents state.