A Jennings County man was arraigned Friday, July 2, in Jefferson Circuit Court as the first of four alleged biker gang members charged with murder in connection with a fatal shootout in rural Jefferson County on June 22.
Jason W. Brewer, 35, of North Vernon, has been charged with Murder, a Level 1 felony; Attempted Murder, Attempted Robbery and Attempted Burglary, all Level 2 felonies; and Obstruction of Justice, a Level 6 felony, plus a Criminal Gang Enhancement that could add years to his prison sentence if convicted.
Brewer, now lodged in the Jefferson County Jail, appeared before Circuit Court Judge D.J. Mote by video conference from the jail for the reading of his charges Friday. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and Mote ordered that a public defender be assigned to his case. Brewer was ordered held without bail until trial, which is scheduled for Sept. 28. His next scheduled court appearance is a pretrial conference on Sept. 15.
According to an affidavit filed by the State of Indiana, Brewer was one of five biker gang members who went to an isolated property on North John Deere Road near Dupont shortly after 4 a.m. on June 22, armed with guns and knives, and looking for Shawn Rudis.
The suspects were allegedly upset that Rudis was displaying patches and had tattoos representing membership in the “Warlocks” and/or “Pagans” biker clubs but was not a gang member and possibly an undercover informant. After arriving at the property, the bikers exchanged gunfire with Rudis and one biker, Dustin B. Lindner, 35, of Georgetown, Kentucky, was struck with a bullet from a .223 rifle fired by Rudis and died at the scene.
Brewer and three other defendants — Michael J. Karnuth, 31, of North Vernon; and David K. Faulker, 52, and Gary W. Fletcher, 40, both of Ohio, have been charged with murder under an Indiana law that allows associates in the commission of a crime to be charged when anyone dies during the crime.
Two of the four suspects — Brewer and Fletcher — are also charged with attempted murder because they, along with Lindner, exchanged gunfire with Rudis while he was holed up in a shed near the end of North John Deer Lane.
The four men are also charged with attempted robbery and attempted burglary — a police investigation indicated they intended to rob Rudis — and three of the men and a woman, 26-year-old Jordan M. Lowe, of North Vernon, are charged with obstruction of justice in connection with their alleged attempted cover-up of the crime by planning and attempting to dispose of weapons used during the attack in multiple creeks, rivers and lakes including the Muscatatuck River and Country Squires Lake in Jennings County as week as transporting the vehicles out of state. The woman, who was not along on the raid, is also charged with assisting a criminal for her role after the fact.
All five suspects are in custody and Jefferson County Prosecutor David Sutter said arraignments for Karnuth, Faulker, Fletcher and Lowe, also by video, could take place this week.