Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

September 29, 2012

Jurors convict Ryan in murder of his neighbor

Kokomo — Jurors deliberating 2 1/2 hours Friday evening in finding Bradley Ryan guilty of murdering and robbing his 85-year-old neighbor, Lonnie Lewis last August.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Betty Louise Langley, the daughter of Lewis said after the verdicts were read shortly after 6 p.m. “It’s been over a year and we really needed closure.”

Longtime neighbors of Lewis, Paul and May Epperson, also were glad to see justice done for their friend.

“Lonnie didn’t have to die like that,” said Mary as they left the Courthouse with Langley.

Deputies were called to Lewis’ home at 1104 Miller St., at about 12:30 p.m. Aug. 15, 2011, after family members found Lewis unconscious and unresponsive.

A pathologist testified Lewis died of blunt force trauma to the head sometime on the evening of Aug. 13.

Throughout the four-day trial in Howard Superior Court 4, Prosecutor Mark McCann told jurors that Ryan went to Lewis’ house after Lewis returned from a night at the Eagles, hit him in the head with a blunt object and stole a check he later wrote and cashed for $1,500.

The jury of 14 including two alternates listened to four days of testimony consisting of 20 witnesses for the state and three witnesses for the defense.

Pointing at a photo of a smiling Lonnie Lewis, McCann instructed jurors during his closing argument to think about the victim.

“He does not have a voice,” McCann said. “I’m his voice, the state of Indiana and the police are his voice. Now, you are the voice of Mr. Lewis.”

McCann told jurors that even though this is a circumstantial case after looking at the evidence as a whole they should find him guilty on both charges.

McCann reminded jurors of prior testimony that Ryan had told his former girlfriend Tiffany Kubica that he found Lewis’ body early Monday and that he never called 911 because he was afraid he would be accused of something.

“He goes with gloves on into his best friend’s house,” said McCann. “Why not call 911 when his best friend his laying dead on the floor. Is that an act of an innocent man? I don’t think so. His actions after the crime is not consistent with an innocent man. He’s a cold-blooded murder. This was a cold, calculated murder and robbery of Mr. Lewis.”

Throughout the trial Ryan’s attorney Andy Vandenbosch said his client his innocent and that he did have the opportunity to commit this crime.

“There is no physical evidence,” Vandenbosch told jurors in his closing argument. “There is no murder weapon, no eyewitness, no fingerprints and no DNA that implicates Bradley Ryan.”

That time line is a crucial element in the case.

According to testimony, Lewis went to have dinner at the Eagles that night and left the club at 9 p.m. McCann estimated through the testimony of Capt. Greg Hargrove that it takes about seven-to-eight minutes to get from the Eagles to Lewis’ home.

Phone records show that Ryan called Kubica’s house at 9:20 p.m. During her testimony, Kubica said she left the house after receiving the call and drove straight to Ryan’s house, which is about five-to-10 minutes away.

Frank Ryan, Bradley Ryan’s father, testified Friday that his son was at his house Saturday and that Kubica picked him up. Frank Ryan told jurors he thought it was around 9:30 p.m. when Tiffany picked him up.

McCann believed Bradley Ryan influenced his father’s testimony. Under questioning by McCann, Frank said they talked to each other several times since Lewis’ death and that his son told him not to talk about the case.

“Do you remember your son yelling at you and saying, ‘stop talking about the case old man,’?” McCann asked Frank Ryan.

In a low tone. Frank Ryan answered “yes.”

Bradley Ryan did not testify on his behalf.

Sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 26. Ryan could face up to 65 years in prison for murder and up to 50 years in prison on the Class A felony robbery.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 01 State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards

    PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Chrysler CEO will headline Tipton plant opening Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will preside over the grand opening of the company's fifth north central Indiana plant, the Tipton Transmission Plant, at a ceremony May 13, company officials announced Tuesday. In February 2013, Chrysler announced it w

    April 16, 2014

  • More than 70 businesses participate in annual job fair More than 70 local businesses got a look at the workforce of tomorrow during Tuesday's Kokomo Area Job Fair at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center. The event, put on as a partnership between Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community

    April 16, 2014

  • Kokomo episode of 'My First Home' airs Saturday A cautious cat-lover will search for the perfect house in Kokomo on Saturday's episode of "My First Home" on TLC. The episode airs at noon and features Kokomo real estate agent Gena Martin and first-time homebuyer Steven Underwood. In its description

    April 16, 2014

  • Easter basket workshop Thursday Generous individuals and businesses in town donated enough candy, games and books to fill more than 500 Easter baskets at this year's Tom Carey Easter Basket Workshop. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. Thursday. Any families that are strapped for cash t

    April 16, 2014

  • IUK to give Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne honorary degree Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will be at Indiana University Kokomo’s May 13 commencement to accept an honorary degree from Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, IUK officials announced. In a statement, McRobbie credited Marchionne with engi

    April 15, 2014

  • Cheryl Marner aims to cross finish line during this year's Boston Marathon Cheryl Marner was a mile from the finish line at last year's Boston Marathon when all of the runners in front of her suddenly stopped. The race had come to a halt, and at the time, she didn't know why. "There was a lot of confusion," she said. "I hea

    April 15, 2014

  • Property taxes to increase Many of the residents in Howard County can expect an increase in their property taxes when bills are mailed out later this week. Tax rate increases, a smaller homestead tax credit collection from the state and a decrease in the county's overall net a

    April 15, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.