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Murder took place in 2021


Jefferson County, Indiana (June 5, 2023) – A man who admitted beating and stabbing a homeless person to death has been sentenced to 45 years, fully executed, to the Indiana Department of Corrections, said Jefferson County Prosecutor David R. Sutter.

Keith Telesh, 50, entered a guilty plea to a charge of murder and was sentenced in Jefferson Circuit Court June 2.

“This was a heinous crime that senselessly claimed a life,” said Prosecutor Sutter. “This is an appropriate sentence for the level of violence that was exhibited. It can’t bring back the victim, but I hope his loved ones feel a measure of justice knowing Mr. Telesh will be behind bars for decades – quite possibly the rest of his life.”

On Aug. 25, 2021, police were called to 705 Walnut St. in reference to a man lying in a backyard. They discovered the man, Dana “Dingo” Hodge, was dead. Hodge had numerous stab wounds to his neck.

Police began an investigation in the area, speaking to a cashier at a nearby liquor store who told them two men had come into the store the previous day asking if she knew where “Dingo” was staying and claiming he was a thief.

Surveillance camera footage captured images of the men. A neighbor to the property where Hodge was discovered reported she had seen two men walking around the backyard of the residence where Hodge typically slept.

One of the men was identified as Telesh.

Further investigation revealed that Telesh’s girlfriend’s purse was stolen out of her car from the First Street Saloon, where Telesh was employed. Surveillance cameras captured the incident and employees identified the man stealing the purse as Hodge.

Telesh’s girlfriend told police that Telesh went looking for Hodge on Aug. 24 in an attempt to recover her purse. The investigation also involved interviewing an employee of the Jefferson County Public Library, a place Hodge frequented, as well as Telesh’s girlfriend.

After obtaining a search warrant on Aug. 26, Madison police served it on Telesh’s Milton, Ky., home with assistance from the Trimble County Sheriff’s Department.

They found bloody clothing and shoes, along with a set of kitchen knives in the trash can. After initially denying involvement, Telesh admitted to the crime, telling police he hit Hodge in the head with a baseball bat, knocking him unconscious. He then stabbed him in the neck.

“This crime was solved very quickly, thanks to outstanding work by Detective Ricky Harris, Detective Shawn Scudder, and the Madison Police Department,” said Prosecutor Sutter. “They deserve credit for their role in solving this crime and quickly arresting the man responsible.”


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