Kilgore trial ends in mistrial


A Jackson Circuit Court jury failed to reach a verdict Tuesday at the end of the trial of a former Crothersville boys basketball head coach accused of child solicitation.

Because the jury could not come up with a unanimous verdict after the two-day trial of Gregory T. Kilgore, a retrial will be set upon the request of both parties.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant said when a case ends in a hung jury, three options are possible: Retrial, a plea agreement or a dismissal of charges. He said Kilgore’s case will most likely go to a retrial, and charges will not be dismissed. A plea agreement is possible depending on negotiations between the prosecution and defense.

Kilgore, 53, is accused of sending inappropriate messages to a 14-year-old female student. He was arrested March 25, 2020, on the Level 5 felony charge and booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown. He was released after posting a $1,000 bond on April 2, 2020.

Kilgore was suspended by Crothersville Community School Corp. after the allegations were made, and on April 3, 2020, he submitted his resignation as athletic director, junior-senior high school aide and golf coach and retirement as boys basketball coach.

During closing arguments Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Carnes urged the jury to recognize Kilgore’s actions as child solicitation.

He reviewed several texts that Kilgore sent to the girl.

The content of the texts included eggplant and peach emojis sent to the girl, saying “either I’m too old or you’re too young” and that he’s “an old pervert hitting on the hot young chick.”

One message said “please don’t tell anyone I talked to you” and another said “teach me your ways.”

Carnes said Kilgore deleted messages he sent to the victim, which was an admission of guilt. He accused the defense of victim blaming and said the student was interacting with someone they saw as an authority figure.

Kilgore’s attorney, Mark Dove of North Vernon, said Kilgore’s actions were mischaracterized and taken out of context.

Dove said Kilgore was being highly inappropriate, but he was not doing anything illegal.

“The definition of solicit in those texts cannot be found,” he said.

State code defines child solicitation as “to command, authorize, urge, incite, request or advise an individual at least 14 years of age but less than 16 years of age to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct.”

To be convicted of child solicitation, Dove said there had to be no interpretation into the meaning of Kilgore’s messages and that what was reviewed in court was “nothing but speculation.”

He said Kilgore was having flirtatious and inappropriate conversations, had too many beers and was a good man.

Dove compared the treatment of Kilgore to the girl’s, saying Kilgore had to go through a trial and public humiliation while the victim said they were “just kidding” when texting something inappropriate to Kilgore.

According to Dove, Kilgore’s actions “cost him his job and way of life.”

Before ending his closing argument, Dove said the jury should consider either convicting Kilgore on “his own dumbass actions” and crush whatever life is left out of him or “do what’s right” and set him free.

During rebuttal, Carnes said the victim’s actions were not an issue and that Kilgore’s actions were completed after the student was solicited.

In response to Dove saying Kilgore’s actions were misinterpreted, Carnes said, “No one ever comes out and directly asks for sex.”

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