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Two Jennings Co. Teens Arrested On Arson Charges

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 6:20am

By Jennings Co. Sheriff's Department

Mobile home fire

Wednesday, at approximately 10:22 AM, deputies from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residential fire in Country Squire Lakes. While deputies were responding to the scene, Jennings Dispatch advised that witnesses saw a silver Jeep Liberty speeding away from the scene and that it was related to the fire.

When deputies arrived in the area, Deputy Drew Heilers observed the suspect vehicle leaving the area. Deputy Heilers attempted stop the vehicle in which time it took off at a high rate of speed. After a short vehicle pursuit, the vehicle ran off the roadway and crashed and the occupants fled on foot. Deputies were able to take a female passenger, Delaney Smith (19), into custody. North Vernon Police, who had also responded to the area to assist, were able to take the male driver, Mikell Hardesty (19), into custody. A third suspect, believed to be a juvenile, was not apprehended.

A small fire under the mobile home had extinguished itself after the fire burnt into water lines under the mobile home. Neighbors who witnessed the fire were able to make contact with a mother and small child who then evacuated the residence. The Indiana State Fire Marshall responded to assist with the investigation.

Evidence was found during the investigation to charge the following subjects:

Driver: Mikell Hardesty (18 of North Vernon)
Arson- Level 4 Felony
Resisting Law Enforcement - Level 6 Felony
Resisting Law Enforcement - A Misdemeanor
Possession of Meth- Level 6 Felony
Bond $25,500.00

Passenger: Delaney Smith (19 of North Vernon)
Arson- Level 4 Felony
Resisting Law Enforcement- A Misdemeanor
Obstruction of Justice- Level 6 Felony
Bond $25,500.00

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