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Death penalty looms in murder of former Knox woman

September 19, 2012

Roy Bell

ROCHESTER — Roy Bell, of Rochester, will be in Fulton Superior Court Tuesday for his alleged role in the Nov. 22 shooting death of Wilma Upsall, 81, a former Knox resident, during a robbery that Bell and two other men, William Scroggs, of Delong, and Jason Miller of Plymouth, allegedly committed.
Bell is looking at a possible death sentence if convicted of shooting Upsall last November at her daughter’s home near Leiter’s Ford.
Upsall’s body was discovered by her daughter when she returned home during the evening of Nov. 22. Autopsy findings revealed Upsall had died from a gunshot wound.
When officers arrived on scene, they discovered the family had come home to find the back door open. Officers also discovered during their preliminary investigation signs of forced entry. Several rooms were ransacked and various items removed from the home.
At approximately 6:34 p.m. Nov. 23, officers from the Indiana State Police noticed a Chevrolet El Camino that was traveling near Monterey on 20 A Road. Officers said the vehicle crossed the center line and was traveling at a speed higher than the posted 55 mph limit. The occupants of the vehicle were also believed to be people the police wanted to question about Upsall’s death. However, when police turned on their emergency sirens, the El Camino sped up and took officers on a police chase for about 10 minutes. The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed on S.R. 117.
Miller, 24, of Plymouth was driving. Two passengers were also traveling with Scroggs, 25, of Delong and Bell. All three suspects fled the scene on foot.
After and extensive manhunt, officers managed to capture both Scroggs and Miller. Both were booked into the Fulton County Jail. Both Scroggs and Miller are charged with the murder of Upsall. However, prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in either of those cases.
Bell was apprehended at about 2 p.m. Nov. 25 at a home located on Elm Street in rural Monterey. Bell’s arrest came as the result of a tip the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department received from one of the residents in the home.
Marshall County contacted officers at the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police. When police from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the location, they were directed into the home and to a back bedroom. Bell was inside the room and taken into custody without incident. Bell did not have any weapons on him at the time of his arrest.
Bell was also booked into the Fulton County Jail.
All three suspects entered not guilty pleas in Fulton Superior Court.
The request for the death penalty was filed in Fulton Superior Court by Fulton County Prosecutor Rick Brown this past March.
The judge also approved the request of Edward Ruiz, Bell’s attorney to sequester the jury.

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