A 33-year-old Jennings County man accused of robbing and murdering a Seymour man in April 2015 has entered a guilty plea that could see him spend as much as 20 years in prison.
The plea agreement, entered late Wednesday in Jackson Circuit Court, calls for Daniel L. Combs to plead guilty to two felonies in connection with the death of 42-year-old Gilbert Engle.
Two other North Vernon residents, Jessica L. Jarrell, 32, and Andrea M. Hollin, 25, have yet to stand trial after their arrests in connection with Engle’s death.
The felony charges Combs has agreed to plead guilty to are possession of methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony, and assisting a criminal, a Level 5 felony.
If Judge Richard W. Poynter accepts the plea agreement, Combs would spend 16 years in prison on the possession charge and four on the assisting a criminal charge. The sentences would be served consecutively. As part of the plea agreement, the state has agreed to drop seven other counts. Those include two counts of murder, two counts of robbery, auto theft and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
Prosecutor AmyMarie Travis said Thursday morning the plea agreement shows Combs has agreed to accept responsibility for his role in the circumstances that led to the robbery and murder of Engle.
Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said Engle was found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest, and investigators believed Combs shot and killed Engle.
They also believe Jessica L. Jarrell, 21, of North Vernon was with Combs when the shooting occurred during a night of partying in Engle’s apartment in downtown Seymour, police said.
Police also believe Jarrell helped steal drugs and cash from the apartment before the two left the area in a stolen PT Cruiser, Abbott said. The two later were arrested in Arcadia, north of Indianapolis.
Those two arrests followed on the heels of the arrest of Andrea Marie Hollin, 25, of North Vernon in connection with the incident, Abbott said. Hollin had surrendered to police.
Jarrell’s trial has been scheduled for Feb. 23, while Hollin’s jury trial had been set for March 23 but recently was canceled. She has until Feb. 1 to enter a plea agreement on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary and theft.
If Combs receives the 20-year prison term, state law requires him to spend at least 15 years in prison before becoming eligible for release.
Travis said the great work by Seymour, state and Arcadia police officers helped her office bring the case closer to resolution.