News and Tribune

December 14, 2012

Floyd burglary suspect in custody

Man brought from Kentucky DOC to Floyd County to face 2011 burglary charges


NEW ALBANY — Floyd County Sheriff’s Office deputies transferred a man from a Kentucky Department of Corrections facility Wednesday to answer home burglary charges issued in 2011.

Johnny Lee Gattis Jr., 31, of Shepherdsville, Ky., broke into a Floyd County home and stole property in July 2011, officers reported. Within minutes after leaving the home, a vehicle driven by Gattis was pulled over by an Indiana Department of Natural Resources officer.

Andrew Campbell and Melissa Whitaker, both of Louisville, were also in the vehicle.

Whitaker was later convicted of the burglary, and Campbell has a trail scheduled for 2013 for his possible involvement in the break-in.

The officer found in the vehicle a flat-screen TV, laptop computer, pillow case containing multiple boxes of jewelry and coins and a small white box labeled with the name of the Floyd County man who had reported the burglary.

According to court records, when the Floyd County homeowner returned to his burglarized home, he reported property stolen matching the items found in the vehicle containing the suspects.

The homeowner also reported that a pillow case had been taken by the intruders.

The DNR officer reported Andrew Campbell said during an interview later in the day that he, Gattis and Whitaker had committed break-ins at a Floyd County residence and two Harrison County homes earlier in the day.

Gattis was been charged with burglary, a class B felony, and theft, a class D felony, stemming from the Floyd County home break-in. If found guilty of each charge, Gattis could be placed into the Indiana Department of Correction for up to 23 years.

He also was charged in a Harrison County court for the two additional reported thefts, which occurred the day of the Floyd County incident.

According to court records, Gattis is facing charges of theft, criminal recklessness — use of a vehicle and criminal mischief for one incident, and for a second incident he has been charged with burglary, theft, residential entry, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and resisting law enforcement.

Floyd County court records did not reflect the date of Gattis’ next hearing as of press time.