A Hancock County jury found Amanda Gonzales guilty of murder in the death of Katrina Miller Monday afternoon.
Joe Meyers was found guilty of murder and kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison, with five years suspended.
Ronnie Westbrook pleaded guilty in April to assisting a criminal and being a habitual offender. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with four years suspended.
Previous story (from July 24, 2014)
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department has made three arrests in connection with the murder of an Indianapolis woman.
Amanda Gonzales was already arrested on a murder charge. She also faces a charge of assisting a criminal.
Ronnie Westbrook and Joe Meyers were originally taken into custody at the same time as Gonzales, but weren’t charged until Wednesday. Both face charges of murder and felony kidnapping.
Katrina L. Miller, 23, was found dead in a Hancock County field last Thursday night. The coroner determined she died from a gunshot wound to the head and that her death was a homicide.
Miller’s body was found last Thursday night in a cornfield along Carroll Road between 38th and 42nd streets. That’s just inside Hancock County, as Carroll Road separates Hancock and Marion Counties.
Court documents say Gonzales asked an acquaintance if she’d ever seen a real murder take place, and then went on to describe that she, Miller and two others went into the corn field. According to the probable cause affidavit, Gonzales told the acquaintance that one of the others in the group, Joe Meyers, forced Miller to get down on her knees in the corn field and shot her.
Meyers allegedly told Miller, “Lil sis, nothing’s going to happen to you” just before shooting her, according to court documents.
Gonzales allegedly told the acquaintance that another man in the group, Ronnie Westbrook, was angry because drugs were missing from his room. But when he returned to his room, he found the drugs. The acquaintance told police she thought Gonzales had hidden the drugs because she was angry at Miller for finding her and Westbrook in bed together.
The grim discovery shocked the community.
“Investigating a homicide, I would call that a rare occasion,” said Sgt. Trent Smoll with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, speaking to WTHR last week.
Just a couple of rows inside the cornfield, two teenagers made the discovery.
“They were riding their bikes and they stopped for a little break and looked into the field and noticed something suspicious,” Sgt. Smoll said.
The teens called 911.
Police worked Thursday night into Friday morning, trying to collect evidence at the scene among the rows of corn.
Investigators say Miller’s body had been in the field for at least a couple of days.
“We were able to identify her by her fingerprints and once we were able to identify her. There was a missing persons report taken yesterday by the Beech Grove Police Department,” Sgt. Smoll said.
Sgt. Smoll continued to say that since the report was so recent, it wasn’t immediately available during their search.
Along the rural stretch of road, neighbors are far and few between and have been cooperative with police, but simply don’t have a lot of details.
“Nothing that could provide any solid details to this event,” he said.
Police continue their investigation into what exactly happened inside the cornfield.
Miller’s family says she leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.