ANDERSON — Madison County Sheriff’s Department Detective Brad Ouster spent most of Thursday on the witness stand outlining details of the investigation into the 2018 deaths of two people.
Ouster took the stand in the ongoing trial of Jordan Zirkle, 33, who is charged with two counts of Level 1 felony aiding, inducing or causing murder in the July 29, 2018, shooting of Trinity Parker, 39, and the Aug. 6, 2018, shooting of David L. Phillips II, 36.
In 2020, Daniel Jones accepted a plea agreement and admitted to shooting both Parker and Phillips. Jones was sentenced by Madison Circuit Court Division 6 Judge Mark Dudley to 60 years for murder, 60 years for aiding, inducing or causing murder and 14 years for criminal confinement.
Authorities and co-defendants in the case say Zirkle was present during the murders.
Brittney Vontress-Cox, Taylor Wheeler and David Roberts are all charged as co-defendants in the deaths of Parker and Phillips.
Ouster said a month ago they learned in a statement from Roberts that while he was at the bus where Zirkle was living they shot firearms.
He said officers searched the barn and bus for weapons and in the process found what appeared to be bullet hole in a bus window facing the barn.
Ouster said they checked the barn in a search for bullets.
He said several witnesses have related that Zirkle was present at both the shootings of Phillips and Parker.
He said Jones led him to Parker’s body in an abandoned house in Grant County.
“While we were driving, Jones said that was the house,” Ouster said. “We saw the body at the bottom of the stairwell. She was shot three times.”
During questioning by defense attorney Bryan Williams, Ouster said no shell casings were found in or around the bus.
Doug Stanton, a former member of the Anderson Police Department now working in Elwood, said investigators asked him to check for video from a camera near the Nature Preserve in Anderson.
Stanton said he was asked to look on the video prior to Aug. 8, 2018 for a gold Chevrolet Cavalier.
He was asked to look for three male subjects being dropped off and later two of the men being picked up.
Stanton said the video camera showed a gold Chevrolet Cavalier at the Nature Preserve on the afternoon Phillips was shot.
Last month, the prosecutor’s office filed a motion to amend the charges to include murder; two counts of felony murder; intimidation, Level 5 felony; kidnapping, a Level 6 felony; robbery, a Level 5 felony, and a Level 3 felony charge of aiding or causing criminal confinement.
That request was eventually withdrawn by Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Kopp.
In an amended charging document, Zirkle is now charged with two Level 1 felony counts of aiding or causing murder.
A charge of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon also was dismissed by the state.
Zirkle’s trial is being streamed live at https://public.courts.in.gov/incs#/