A Whitley County Grand Jury indicted two Indianapolis men Monday morning in connection with the 2017 triple homicide of a local family.
The grand jury indicted Darnel Chivers, 39, and Anthony Hester, 34, charging them with three counts of murder in the strangulation deaths of Robert Mack “Little Man” Kennedy III, who had just turned 16 years old; his mother, Emogene Ormae Bittner, 36; and her husband and Kennedy’s stepfather, Christopher Michael Bittner, 24, who were all found dead on Sept. 13, 2017, at a 1602 Deep Branch Road residence.
The killings are believed to have taken place on Sept 11 or 12, 2017, and drug involvement is suspected as a partial motive in the case, Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said previously.
The grand jury also indicted Chivers and Hester for first-degree burglary, and tampering with physical evidence in the case.
Jeremy Hatfield, who is a co-defendant in the case, was indicted in March on three counts of murder, first-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, receiving stolen property-firearm, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling, who is the prosecutor in the case, said Monday afternoon that at this time, his office still intends to pursue the death penalty against Chivers and Hester, but not against Hatfield.
Hatfield has cooperated with police in connection to the case.
Hatfield is currently being lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million cash bond.
Both Chivers and Hester are in federal custody.
“Because they are in federal custody we had to return the indictments today. Then we will do a writ to get them transported next month. At that first appearance, I plan on delivering the notice of intent to seek the death penalty on those two,” Bowling said Monday afternoon.
The case went unsolved for more than a year. At the request of the victim’s family Williamsburg police started investigating the case in July 2018 and made three arrests in late January 2019 in connection to the case.
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2017, Kathy Faulkner, Emogene’s mother, called 911 reporting that she had found her daughter dead at the residence.
Faulkner owned the residence but her daughter, grandson and son-in-law had been staying there while she was away from home.
Kathy Faulkner found Emogene with a bag over her head inside the house. The other two victims were found outside the house.
“It looks like they put a bag over her head. Oh, my God!” Kathy Faulkner told a dispatcher during a 911 call. “I have been having some problems out of some guys in Indiana, but I think that they put them in jail or something. I don’t know.”
Kathy Faulkner first met Chivers in 2012 or 2013 while he was serving time for another offense. The two began dating after Chivers was paroled in 2016, Bird said.