March 28, 1996
Married couple John “Jay” Tyler (29) and Kathy Tyler (29) and their friend Brandy Southard (21) are chased to an intersection on a rural road before being shoot and stabbed
John Matthew Stephenson’s trial is believed to be the longest and most expensive in Indiana’s history, spanning 140 trial days. Additionally, according to ClarkProsecutor.org, “[t]he defense was allowed 2 attorneys, 2 investigators, a paralegal, a professional photographer, a civil engineer, a forensic scientist, a jury consultant, a neuropsychologist, and a mitigation expert.”
During trial, prosecutors alleged Stephenson — who knew the victims — stole from Southard shortly before the murder, chased the victims to an area where Jay Tyler may have lost control of his vehicle, shot the 3 victims with an SKS semi-automatic carbine, then stabbed each victim repeatedly. Stephenson’s defense proposed the victims were killed in a drug-related altercation that was not connected to Stephenson.
Stephenson is currently on death row.