Home invasions linked to fatal crash - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Home invasions linked to fatal crash

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By Cory Stark - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Rich Miller - email

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (WFIE) -  The Hopkins County Sheriff's Department says it has linked the individuals involved in a fatal auto accident Saturday with a string of home invasions that occurred that same morning.

Deputies say the two adults and two juveniles involved were targeting people they knew.

Deputies say three robberies occurred within six miles of each other.

"One of them was an attempted home entry and the others were home entries with gun shots being fired," said Hopkins County Sheriff Frank Latham.  "They were hell bent on doing a lot of damage, and we want to get to the bottom of that if we can."

Deputies say 19-year-old Christopher Adams, 20-year-old Phillip Windham, 17-year-old Joseph Aniz and a 15-year-old female were involved. Deputies say at the first home shots were fired but no one was injured.

At the second home the robbers were scared away.  "They had already gotten the screen up, but they hadn't gotten the window up," said homeowner Theresa Robinson. "She (her daughter) screamed out loud that 'someone is trying to get into my room'."

Robinson says her daughter's screaming and the family dog "Precious" barking scared the intruders, but the incident has taken a toll.

"My daughter is 16 and she won't sleep by herself now. She won't sleep in this room and she won't walk down the hall when it's dark.

Robinson says the robbers got away with only small items, but according to investigators, the group wasn't done.  At a third house, deputies say they broke in and shot a 23-year-old woman in the leg.

"It was not random," said Latham.  "They knew where they were going and some of the people that lived there."

Investigators say after the third robbery the group was traveling eastbound on Highway 62 at a high rate of speed. A Kentucky State Police trooper started to pursue the vehicle when it crashed into a truck, leaving 17-year-old Joseph Aniz dead and the three others in critical condition.

Deputies say the car involved in the crash was stolen. At the scene of the accident, a gun and items reported stolen from the three homes were recovered. Because the three survivors of the crash are in critical condition, deputies have been unable to talk with them. 

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