At the conclusion of each year, the Journal Review regularly publishes a recount of the top local stories, and this year is no different. With the help of Google analytics, the Journal Review has identified our Most Read News Stories of 2020.
In the coming days, we will revisit these stories and provide updates, when necessary.
This is the second installment in the series.
Mother-son charged with catastrophic neglect
In mid-September, two family members in Waynetown were charged with multiple counts of neglect of a dependent following a month’s long investigation by police.
Deborah Diane Snyder, 64, and her son, Lance Wayne Snyder, 40, of Waynetown were arrested Sept. 11 at their home at 309 Blackford St. Both were charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, a Level 1 felony.
Deborah Snyder faces additional charges of two counts of neglect of a dependent-placing dependent in situation that endangers dependent’s life/health; abandons or cruelly confines dependent; or deprives dependent of necessary support and results in serious bodily injury, a Level 3 felony.
Lance Snyder faces two additional counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 3 felony.
“It was bad,” Waynetown Town Marshal Kyle Proctor said. “It’s the worst case of neglect I’ve ever seen, and I’m on my 20th year of this. A lot of the hospitals ... they all said it was the worst case of neglect they’ve seen as far as injuries.”
The arrests are a result of an investigation performed by the Waynetown Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a tip Aug. 14 that a senior citizen was in poor condition at the home.
The 70-year-old female was reportedly covered in bed sores and riddled with infection “down to the bone.” Flesh-eating insects were also present, officials said.
The relative had come to live with the Snyders in 2018 following a successful battle with cancer, according to police. The woman’s condition was discovered and reported to Proctor after Deborah Snyder asked a friend for help lifting the older woman after she had “fallen off the couch.” The woman died Monday, Proctor said.
The Snyders were also the subject of a 2018 investigation of neglect concerning Deborah Snyder’s mother. However, no charges were ever filed in the case.
“Hopefully we can come back on them there too,” Proctor added.
The pair are currently housed at the Montgomery County Jail with $10,000 cash-only bonds.
A jury trial for Deborah Snyder has been scheduled for March 30; while records show Lance Snyder’s case is set for trial Jan. 12. However, jury trials have temporarily been suspended due to the pandemic.
Man flown to Indy with gunshot wound after standoff with police
On Dec. 7, a man was taken to an Indianapolis hospital with a gunshot wound after leading police on a seven-hour standoff at his home in the 2100 block of North State Road 47.
Dillon Gard, 30, Crawfordsville, was identified by police as the suspect.
Police were called to the home on a report of a battery. The woman who called police was able to leave the residence, but a man remained in the home. He then barricaded himself in a second-story bedroom and had access to several guns. He allegedly fired rounds at police at one point during the standoff.
Police negotiators made several attempts to persuade him to disarm himself and leave the home on his accord. Drone technology and other non-lethal means were used unsuccessfully to de-escalte the situation.
“We did use some gas to try to get him to exit the residence,” Montgomery County Sheriff Ryan Needham said. “He did not come out from it. It’s nasty stuff, and lingering.”
Gard was struck by a bullet fired by police when he allegedly came to the bedroom windodw and pointed a firearm at officers hours into the standoff.
Indiana State Police is investigating the standoff. Police did not have an update on Gard’s condition Monday.
Family of COVID-19 patient urges public to take pandemic seriously
A man who lost his mother and grandmother to COVID-19 months apart urged the community to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously.
“I hope that safety can also be contagious, and I hope that we can find a little more compassion,” said 30-year-old Luke Fettig. “A lot of people, you know, don’t think this is real until it hits their family, and then it’s too late.”
Fettig’s mother, Dee, died in a Lafayette hospital July 21, less than two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. His grandmother, Sharon Carr, lost her own battle with the coronavirus on Nov. 17 after spending nearly three weeks on a ventilator in Indianapolis.
Dee’s husband of 30 years, Phil, tested positive for the virus the day of her death, but never showed any symptoms.
“If he hadn’t … been a positive patient, he wouldn’t have been able to go in the room at all to see my mom to say goodbye,” Fettig said.
Since Carr’s death a month-and-a-half ago, more than 1,500 additional Montgomery County residents have contracted COVID-19.