The jury in the Lane Dodson trial could begin deliberation by noon on Friday. Both the state and the defense rested their cases near 4:00 P.M. on Thursday. Judge Robert Bowen, Superior Court I, advised the jury that the trial would resume on Friday at 9:00 A.M. when both sides would give closing arguments, he would deliver instructions for deliberation, and then they would begin the deliberation phase.
Dodson has been charged with attempted murder stemming from a shootout on December 29, 2014 in the former Kmart parking lot. Dodson had been pulled over following allegations of domestic violence against his then-wife Heather Dodson. The state contends that Dodson used his Ruger 1911 model semi-automatic weapon to shoot at Plymouth Police officer Matthew Emenhiser. During the incident, Dodson received injuries to his shoulder, throat and hand when Emenhiser and ISP Trooper William Ennis fired their weapons, striking Dodson three times.
Dodson is also charged with domestic battery and intimidation against Heather Dodson and Domestic Battery against Justin Pointon. During the trial, Heather Dodson and Pointon both testified that they had had a sexual encounter. Lane Dodson and Pointon had been arrested on December 28, following an altercation.
Lane Dodson took the stand on Thursday and gave his accounting of the incidents. Dodson said he had not inflicted the injuries to his former wife and only punched Pointon in self defense. Dodson said he had filed for a divorce in August of 2014, but that they and her three children remained in the home because Heather Dodson could not find other housing.
Dodson’s voice was raspy during his entire testimony due to his throat injury.
Testimony was heard on Thursday from Gerry Dietrich, Karie Fletcher, Mike Austin, and Pam Austin, all friends of Lane Dodson. They all testified that Lane and Heather Dodson and their combined five children had attended a Christmas party at the Austin home on December 28 and that Heather said her injuries were from falling over a table. It was noted later that the table was actually a large spool that is used for wire transportation.
The four witnesses and Dodson testified that Heather had to be helped to her van after the party because of alcohol consumption.
Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier showed Dodson 24 graphic pictures of Heather Dodson’s injuries. After each picture, Napier asked if he had caused them. Each time, Dodson replied, “I did not.”
The state presented testimony for well over two hours from ISP Sgt, Lamar Hileman who is a Crime Scene Investigator. Hileman explained in depth how evidence at the shooting scene was collected, stored, and evaluated at the ISP Lab in Indianapolis. Firearms from the defendant and the two officers along with a large number of ammunition were sent to the lab for comparison.
At one point, Hileman used the actual windshield from the van that had been removed to demonstrate how they determine if bullets were fired from inside or outside the vehicle. Court records state that Dodson shot towards Emenhiser through the windshield of the van.
It was noted that a request to the AFT (Alcohol , Firearms , and Tobacco) to track the purchase of the gun attributed to Dodson that it was only purchased 41 days prior to the incident.
Defense Attorney Marc Morrison questioned the temperature of firearms after the time lapse between the incident and the arrival time of Hillman, powder burn residue, and missing bullets. Morrison also questioned blood spatter. He said, “If there was blood on his right hand, would you expect to see blood on the gun?”
The state also called Melissa Oberg to the stand. Oberg is an ISP Forensic Firearms Examiner. She explained process that is used consistently to compare weapons and the ammunition used. In terms of the Dodson case, she examined three firearms, 41 cartridge casings and 4 bullets.
Dodson had been on house arrest starting soon after his arrest. The home detention was extended due to his injuries and medical procedures that could not be handled in the jail facility.
On November 16, 2016 , Dodson appeared before Judge Bowen and requested that the ankle tracking bracelet that was being used to track his movements be removed. Bowen informed Dodson that the tracking system was a requirement of his bond. Dodson chose to have it removed and he was then remanded to the Marshall County Jail.
Dodson remains incarcerated at that facility.
Carol Anders Correspondent