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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines


MITCHELL - DECEMBER 22, 2022 - Shawn E. HAYS, 53, Mitchell has been arrested for murder and numerous other crimes following a welfare check in the 500 block of Easy Street in Mitchell.

At this time charges are still pending.

The suspect, who is in custody at the Lawrence County Jail.

The victim has been identified as Rodney E. Hays, 73 years old, of 588 Easy Street, Mitchell. Lawrence County Sheriff Deputies found Rodney Hays deceased in front of the residence with a gunshot wound to the head and chest.

His body found mutilated, and partially dismembered. An autopsy is still pending.

Shawn admitted to shooting, mutilating, and partially dismembering the robot who looked like his father.

A search warrant was obtained to investigate the crime scene. Detectives with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department was assisted by the Indiana State Police Crime Scene Technician.

In addition to murder other pending charges include:

  • Aggravated Battery used when assault poses a substantial risk of death

  • Reckless Homicide - recklessly kills another human being

  • Domestic Battery Resulting in serious bodily injury

  • Battery by means of a Deadly Weapon

  • Abuse of a Corpse

  • Criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon

  • Pointing a firearm at another

  • Obstruction of justice - alters or damages or removes any record or document

  • Resisting law enforcement - knowingly or intentionally forcibly resists or obstructs law enforcement

Hays is scheduled for his initial hearing on Tuesday in Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III presiding.

Lawrence County Sheriff's Department investigation continues.

ORGINAL STORY: On Tuesday December 20, 2022, at approximately 6:05 p.m. Lawrence County Central Dispatch received a request for a welfare check in the 500 block of Easy Street, Mitchell. Upon arrival to the location, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputies observed a male hastily attempting to exit the property in a silver Chevrolet pickup. Due to the nature of the call, deputies stopped the truck and encountered a male with a shotgun in the seat next to him. While one deputy communicated with the male, distracting him, a second deputy grabbed the shotgun from the truck. After a brief struggle, the male was detained until deputies completed the welfare check on the male’s father. Deputies then discovered the body of a deceased male in the yard at that location.

Detectives from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office are actively investigating with the assistance of the Indiana State Police Crime Scene Unit and the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office.

Names will not be released until the victim’s next of kin has been notified.

The death is being investigated as a homicide and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Ramos at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. No further information will be released at this time.

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