The man charged with the murder of a St. Henry man has signed a plea agreement with the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office.
Under the plea agreement, Kyle N. Popplewell, 26, could face 86 years in prison for the murder of Jeffrey D. Perry as well as the criminal confinement and aggravated battery that occurred the night of January 10, 2016.
The Ferdinand man was originally charged with murder and Level 1 felony counts of rape (two counts) and burglary, plus a Level 2 felony count of criminal confinement and a Level 5 felony count of battery causing serious bodily injury. Those charges stem from an incident January 10 in which he allegedly entered Perry’s home located east of St. Henry. Popplewell allegedly stabbed him before raping a woman staying there.
Here is a story on the incident
Under the agreement that was hashed out between the defense and Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office, Popplewell will plead guilty to the murder charge as well as the criminal confinement count amended from a Level 2 felony to a Level 5 felony and the aggravated battery count amended from a Level 5 felony to a Level 3 felony.
The plea agreement was presented to Dubois County Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp today who took it under advisement. A sentencing hearing on the matter is scheduled for September 8 at 1 p.m.
The victims and family members of the victims will have a chance to speak with Verkamp before he makes his final decision on the agreement and sentencing.
“Since the plea was entered, the probation department will prepare a pre-sentence report for everyone to look at,” Dubois County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Quinn said today. “On the 8th, the victims will have a chance to speak and the judge will make a decision on whether he accepts it or not and if he accepts it, he will sentence him that same day. Everything should happen on the 8th (September) unless that hearing gets moved.”
Quinn said his office and the defense have gone back and forth on the agreement for quite some time, and the one presented today was a proposal the prosecuting attorney’s office presented to Popplewell’s attorneys.
Quinn would make no other comments regarding the agreement until after the sentencing hearing.
“The client has been wanting to accept responsibility for this since the beginning,” Popplewell’s attorney Kurt Leinenbach said today. “It took a long time to sort through the details of the case and come to an agreement.”
Leinenbach is co-counsel in the case assisting attorney Steve Ripstra who’s office was appointed to represent Popplewell as pauper counsel.
The agreement removes the potential for a life sentence without parole. Popplewell would face 65 years with the Indiana Department of Corrections for the murder count; six years for the criminal confinement; and 15 years for the amended aggravated battery count.