News and Tribune

Clark County

January 29, 2013

Assault sentencing results in $100,000 restitution

Jeff man to pay victim of road-rage incident

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE —

He said that offering a plea was appropriate because Michael Cullum, through injuries he sustained during the incident, has suffered memory loss, which would make prosecution during a trial difficult.

“This [resolution] is what the victim wanted,” Mull said. “These people are out of a lot of money. They have medical debts and bills that are going to weigh them down for years to come, and their main concern in this case is to get some of this money back.” 

Mull said Shelby would likely have served two to three years in the Indiana Department of Correction, with no restitution, had he been convicted of the battery charge.

Mull added that he has learned through his experience that for some offenders, paying back a large restitution is worse than jail time.

Landers, who was charged as a adult for his involvement in the incident, pled guilty to aggravated battery, class B felony, in 2011. 

He received a sentenced of two years imprisonment with six years probation to serve on his release. 

 

BACKGROUND

At the time of the incident Shelby was driving a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer following a 1994 Plymouth Acclaim driven by Heather Cullum.

Then-17-year-old Dakota Landers was in the passenger seat of Shelby’s Chevrolet, and Matthew Cullum was in the passenger seat of the Plymouth.

Both Shelby and Heather Cullum gave accounts to police that both vehicle were traveling east on 10th Street, and that Heather Cullum had begun to suddenly brake her vehicle. Heather said that she slowed down because the vehicle was overheating.

Shelby then switched lanes, pulled beside Cullums’ vehicle and cursed at her and gave her the middle finger.

Their accounts of what transpired from that point, begin to diverge.

Each said the other followed their vehicle into a business’ parking lot on Sharon Drive where Shelby and Landers would beat Michael Cullum.

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