A Cumberland man was sentenced yesterday in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s daughter.
On the afternoon of April 6, 2020, Cumberland Police were called to a residence in the 11000 block of Kirkwood Drive after first responders reported a child in cardiac arrest. Brooklyn Mendheim, 8, was rushed to the hospital, where she later died. One of the nurses who treated her told police she had “extensive, fresh injuries” of the type usually seen in victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The child’s mother, Kimberly Grosklos, and Derrick Duane Dale, Grosklos’s boyfriend, initially tried to convince police the child had intentionally drowned herself in the bathtub. However, one of the other three kids – ages 11, 9 and 4- who were removed from the home broke down in tears and told authorities Brooklyn had been beaten with jumper cables shortly before her death.
An autopsy determined there was no water in the girl’s lungs. Her cause of death was ruled to be caused by nonaccidental trauma and suffocation.
Kimberly Grosklos, 34, received a 20-year sentence earlier this month after pleading guilty to neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Last month, a jury found 31-year-old Dale, guilty of aggravated battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in a death, and battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old. He was sentenced on Friday to 35 years.
An Hagerstown man has been sentenced for gunning down his neighbor.
Billy Wilson Sr., 78, was found guilty last May of killing his neighbor, KC Simpson, 32, during an argument stemming from a property line dispute.
According to court documents, the two men had an extremely contentious history prior to the November 2020 argument. Witnesses stated Wilson had shot Simpson’s dog, Zeus, and killed his chickens in the past. He had also threatened Simpson family members when they rode their dirt bikes.
The incident that claimed KC Simpson’s life began when he discovered a stranger on his property in the 4700 block of North Brick Church Road. He stepped outside to speak to the man and was instead confronted by Billy Wilson Sr., his neighbor to the south. Wilson explained that the man was a surveyor he’d hired to locate the precise placement of the line separating their properties. Simpson then offered to pay half of the survey’s cost because he wanted to put up a fence, but Wilson insisted Simpson was responsible for the entire bill.
The two men argued. Wilson yelled, “I’m done with you guys, you guys are too much over there” and “I’m not messing with you, you better get to running” before he pulled out a gun and shot Simpson three times. Simpson fell to the ground, and Wilson walked over to him and fired three more shots, each of them to Simpson’s head.
Wilson surrendered to police without incident after the shooting. KC Simpson was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital, where he later died.
Wilson was found guilty of Simpson’s murder in May. Last week, Judge Charles Todd Jr. sentenced him to 48 years, citing the 78-year-old’s lack of remorse as an aggravating circumstance. With the 1½ years Wilson served prior to trial and sentencing, plus maximum good time credit, he would be age 113 before his release.
Wilson has announced plans to appeal his conviction.
A Crawfordsville man who initially reported his wife missing has been sentenced to 50 years after pleading guilty to her murder.
On August 20, 2020, Michael Dale Parks reported his wife missing to the Crawfordsville Police. According to the statement he gave at the time, Parks told officers he hadn’t seen his wife Hope for two days. He said they had argued, and she’d supposedly thrown her wedding rings at him before getting into a white car driven by an unknown person. He also claimed to have attempted to reach her by phone several times without success.
At the same time Parks was giving police information about his “missing” wife, investigators from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were at a crime scene about two miles west of Crawfordsville on County Road 225 West. A headless body later positively identified as Hope Parks had been found draped over the Sugar Creek Bridge railing.
When asked, Parks consented to a search of the couple’s South Elm Street residence. Officers quickly found blood on the house’s deck and in the driveway, as well as a bloody shoeprint in the garage. At that point, they obtained a search warrant for the rest of the house.
Authorities then found a wealth of additional evidence, including a .22 rifle, ammunition, and a blue tarp with what appeared to be bloodstains. In the yard, they discovered a trail of blood and a .22 shell casing. A phone police believe belonged to Hope Parks was located inside a bedroom safe.
Her severed head was found buried in the basement.
An autopsy later determined she had been shot in the back of the head. She had also suffered blunt force trauma to her chest and extremities before her husband beheaded her with a mitre saw.
Court records show that roughly 20 years earlier, Michael Parks had a prior conviction of domestic battery in which Hope was the victim. Several other charges of domestic battery against him had been dropped over the years.
Montgomery County judge Harry Siamis sentenced Parks to 50 years in prison after accepting his guilty plea earlier this month. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Parks must serve his entire sentence with no time suspended. He will not be eligible for parole.
Michael Parks will be 94 years old when released from prison.
If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, please contact the 24- hour Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence hotline @ 1-800-332-7385.