HUSTONVILLE — Four deaf women have been indicted on charges they plotted to murder a woman living in Hustonville.
Jessica N. Callahan, 27, of Danville, and Autumn Drass, 23, Taquisa Horton, 27, and Kerry Zamara, 23, all of Columbus, Ohio, have been charged with attempted murder of Minnie L. Goode.
Drass and Horton also face charges of first-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into Goode's house while armed with knives and third-degree assault for attempting to injure Hustonville Police Chief Fred McCoy, who discovered the two women in Goode's home.
Callahan and Zamara are each charged with complicity in the burglary.
Sheriff Curt Folger said Zamara will likely have the charges against her reduced because she has agreed to be a cooperating witness against the others.
When the alleged murder plot was first brought to light last month, Folger said it was an attempt by Callahan to get revenge on a former lover, the daughter of Goode.
Goode's daughter had been helping Callahan's current female lover seek emergency protective orders against Callahan because Callahan was abusive, Folger said.
Callahan befriended the three women from Ohio over the Internet and she drove up to visit them once before bringing them down to Danville, Folger said.
Folger said he doesn't know whether the four planned the murder before traveling to Danville or after they arrived.
Hustonville Police Chief Fred McCoy said he discovered Drass and Horton inside Goode's home after a neighbor reported seeing four women at the house. The neighbor also reported seeing two of the four leave, McCoy said.
When he arrived at the house, McCoy tried the front door and called for Goode, but it seemed no one was home. He proceeded around the back, where he found a pair of broken windows, one of which had clearly been entered through after being broken, he said.
McCoy unholstered his gun and entered the house, where he encountered Drass in the kitchen. Drass jumped out with a knife raised above her head, McCoy said.
"She was going to come down and stab. Of course, they didn't know it was me, they thought it was the old woman," he said. "Just as quick as she jumped out from behind the counter and had this butcher knife in the air, I raised my gun up. If I'd have had to pull it out of the holster or something, I wouldn't have had time — she would have done started stabbing."
McCoy said when Drass saw the gun, she started running toward the front of the house. Zamara had been hiding behind the refrigerator and she too began running, he said.
McCoy said he pursued the women into the front living room, where he pushed Zamara into a coffee table, causing her to fall over. Then he tackled Drass, bringing her to the ground as well.
McCoy said the two women continued to battle him on the floor until he got position on them and trained his gun on Zamara, at which point she "spread eagle on the floor."
McCoy said he had the two women lie on the ground outside and he handcuffed them together.
After a neighbor called 911, Folger and sheriff's deputies responded to the scene.
McCoy said he found texts on Drass' cell phone where the women had been conversing about the murder plot. One text asked Drass if she needed a gun. Drass said she wouldn't need the gun and "took a picture of herself holding this big old 10- or 12-inch butcher knife up in the air," he said.
In another text, one of the women asked what they should do if children were home with Goode, who McCoy said babysits or watches grandchildren from time to time.
McCoy said the response was "kill them all."
McCoy said he's sure the sheriff's office has acquired much more evidence from the other women's phones beyond what he saw on Drass' phone.
"They've (the sheriff's office) done a tremendous job on the case," McCoy said.
Folger said he's not prepared to release any more information about his case, but given the amount of evidence he has against the women, "they would probably be wanting to not go to trial."