Indictments obtained in 2012 Sullivan County killing

Apr. 24—Authorities on Wednesday announced charges in the 2012 killing of rural Sullivan County resident Lowell Badger.

Indiana State Police said a grand jury has returned indictments charging William Ray Grimes with murder, burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary — all Class A felonies.

Grimes, 38, of Merom, is already serving a lengthy state prison sentence in a separate case emanating from Sullivan County.

Retired farmer Lowell Badger, 85, was found dead at his Graysville-area home, and the homicide was believed to have occurred sometime between 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 9:23 a.m. Dec. 8, 2012.

Since his death, Indiana State Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office investigated more than 275 tips, conducted over 300 interviews and searched many areas of land and water in the Sullivan County area on foot, with aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, boats and divers.

A safe and television were taken from Badger's home. The safe was a light to medium dark gray, measuring 23 1/2 inches, tall, 17 inches in depth, and 17 inches wide, in pristine condition and manufactured by John D. Brush and Company. The television was a black 46" Sony Bravia LCD screen.

Early this year, Sullivan County Prosecutor Ann Mischler learned she would need to request a special prosecutor for the case, according to a news release issued Wednesday by state police.

Special prosecuting attorneys Rob Roberts (lead), Dave Powell and Courtney Lawrence were appointed.

On April 17, 2024, a grand jury was impaneled in Sullivan Superior Court. After six days of evidence and testimony, the grand jury returned the indictments.

Grand Jury proceedings are secret by law and no additional information regarding the proceedings will be made available, ISP said.

"This is the beginning of the criminal process," Roberts said in the ISP news release. "Once again, we encourage anyone that has information related to the murder of Mr. Badger to contact the Indiana State Police."

"We are in the first steps of the process," Roberts said later. "We're certainly very grateful for the grand jurors ... and we look forward to moving forward and letting the process take its course."

Grimes has appeared frequently on misdemeanor and felony charges in Sullivan County courts since 2006. He is currently in a state prison with an earliest possible release date of Jan. 2, 2053, according to an Indiana Department of Correction online database. It lists him at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle.

In that case in Sullivan County Superior Court, Grimes was accused of knocking out another man and taking a rifle. He had been charged with offenses including theft of a firearm, battery resulting in injury, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Due to prior felony convictions, Grimes received the habitual offender enhancement with a total of 40 years being handed down by Judge Hugh R. Hunt at sentencing on Feb. 24, 2023.

Mischler filed the charges in that case, while Roberts, who is the chief deputy prosecutor in Vigo County, served as special prosecutor. Lead investigator was Trooper Andrew Mattern.

Contact Mark Fitton at 812-231-4333 or