Convicted murderer charged with child molesting
KNOX — Convicted murderer Steven O'Bryant, 43, of Knox, is once again behind bars — this time, he has been charged with four A-Felony counts of child molesting.
O'Bryant served more than 23 years in prison for the April 29, 1987 murder of Anna Lindstrand, then 84, of Knox.
According to the March 9, 1988 edition of The Leader, O'Bryant entered a guilty plea in Starke Circuit Court March 4, 1988. The lead-story article went on to say that initially, O'Bryant had tried an insanity defense, but was deemed fit to stand trial after being evaluated by the Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services in Warsaw. The examiner said that O'Bryant knew the difference between right and wrong, he just didn't care whether he did what was right or wrong. The examiner said the most appropriate diagnosis he could make would be social anti-personality disorder.
A story printed in the March 30, 1988 edition of The Leader said O'Bryant was sentenced March 29, 1988 in Starke Circuit Court, exactly 11 months after he murdered the Knox woman. A 40-year sentence, in accordance with the plea agreement accepted by then prosecuting attorney Kim Hall, was handed down. None of the sentence was suspended, according to the article.
O'Bryant was released from prison in June 2011 and from the Indiana Prison system in January of this year, after completing his probation.
Knox City Police Detective Dave Combs said the police department had received a complaint about O'Bryant on July 8 from a juvenile victim who stated that O'Bryant molested him over a two-week period, while the suspect lived in his home.
On Friday, Aug. 17, the Starke County Circuit Court issued a warrant for O'Bryant.
He was arrested in Fort Wayne Monday afternoon. Currently, he is in the Starke County Jail.
"We had received information that he (O'Bryant) was staying in a homeless shelter in Fort Wayne," Combs said.
Once the warrant was issued, Combs said they contacted Fort Wayne authorities.
"We contacted the Fort Wayne Police Department Warrants Division to give them a copy of the warrant and a photo. The Fort Wayne Police took O'Bryant into custody at a local library — we then traveled to Fort Wayne to pick him up," Combs said.
O'Bryant was arraigned in Starke Circuit Court Tuesday, Aug. 21. He entered a not guilty plea to the charges of child molestation, calling them sick and disgusting. He also asked for a lie detector test.
O'Bryant requested a court appointed attorney because he said he has been unable to secure employment due to his heavily tattooed face and neck.
Starke County Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall appointed Timothy Lemon as O'Bryant's attorney.
Hall, the prosecuting attorney at the time of the Lindstrand murder, recused himself and Court Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese.
The case will be heard by a St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge.
O'Bryant's first pretrial conference has been set for 8 a.m. Oct. 31. However, with a change in venue, that date is subject to change.
O'Bryant was returned to the Starke County Jail where he is being held on a $500,000 surety bond.