2016-04-12 / Front Page

Rural Cloverdale Man Charged In Shooting Over Roofing Work

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


Robert E. Young Robert E. Young A three-year dispute over a roof replacement between a rural Cloverdale homeowner and a Greencastle contractor reached a violent breaking point on the afternoon of Friday, March 25.

Robert E. Young, 59, of Cloverdale, is currently housed at the Putnam County Jail related to the shooting of Jeffrey Perkins, 59, of Greencastle. A dispute over scaffolding led to Perkins, a roofing contractor, attempting to leave the property of Young, who shot a 9mm handgun through the rear window of the pickup truck he was driving and struck him in the head.

Young has been charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections; aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony and punishable by three to 16 years; criminal confinement, also a Level 3 felony; and pointing a firearm, a Level 6 felony, punishable by one to six years in prison.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the Putnam County Circuit Court by Indiana State Police Detective Don Anglin, the Putnamville ISP Post was contacted by Young’s wife, Shirley, around 3:50 that Friday afternoon, from the Young’s home just north of Lieber State Recreation Area on State Road 243.

She told dispatchers her husband, Robert, was attempting to prevent someone from stealing scaffolding at their residence. She called back 11 minutes later and advised she was blocking an exit of the property’s driveway and her husband had a gun.

According to court documents, once ISP troopers arrived on scene, just six miles south of the Post, they found Perkins had been shot by Young, reportedly over a dispute about scaffolding Perkins and a Charles Masters were removing from the Youngs’ property.

The probable cause notes officers discovered Perkins slumped over and unresponsive in the driver’s seat of his Chevrolet pickup truck. He was transported by Putnam County Ambulance to a landing zone near SR 243 and I-70, where he was airlifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

ISP Trooper Yan Dravigne’s conversation with Young shortly after the incident shed light on the situation.

“Yes sir, I did (shoot him). I was sitting on that brick and he went to run me over,” Young said. “I shot him in the head, I tried to kill the son of a b****... I was just saving my property and my life.”

Court documents say Young discussed a verbal contractual agreement between he and Perkins for a roof replacement on the Youngs’ home approximately three years ago. Perkins told friend, Kerry Hutchinson he quit working on the job due to “Robert Young giving him problems.”

Young said he confronted Perkins when he and Masters arrived at his residence and began taking down scaffolding, and placing it in Perkins’ truck. Young told Perkins that due to leaks in his roof, which were never repaired, he was claiming the scaffolding in return.

According to the probable cause, Young initially retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from his body shop, but chose against his intent of shooting out the tires of Perkins’ truck.

Court records say Perkins told Young the scaffolding belonged to him and “he would have to shoot him.”

Shirley Young said she then convinced her husband not to beat Perkins with a baseball bat from the home. Instead, he directed her to block one end of the driveway with her Honda Civic, while he positioned a Chevrolet dump truck at an angle to partially block Perkins’ truck from backing up.

Court records say Perkins began to slowly back his truck, being careful not to strike the dump truck. At this time, Young began to sit on a cement block he placed on the ground.

Masters told police he saw Young holding the handgun when he looked in the rear window, relaying the message to Perkins and ducking for cover himself. Several seconds later, he heard one gunshot and the rear window shattered. The driver slumped over and became unresponsive, as the truck continued to back until striking a pile of wood as Masters engaged the parking brake.

The affidavit notes how Young told officers he did not display the handgun, but attempted to fire a warning shot when the truck accelerated, though not fast enough to lose traction on the gravel drive, and began to strike him. He claims the gun fired accidentally, but admits he had opportunity to avoid shooting the truck, but “he was not going to let them leave.”

As of Wednesday, April 6, Perkins remained hospitalized at St. Vincent Hospital in critical condition. No official update on his condition was available as of late last Friday afternoon.

Court records note Perkins’ brother, Steve Perkins, told officers his brother was apprehensive about retrieving the scaffolding on multiple previous occasions.

The affidavit says the bullet entered Perkins forehead, traveled left, fragmented, but did not exit.

Young appeared for an initial hearing in the Putnam Circuit Court via video conference from the county jail at 3:30 p.m. Friday, where his bond was set at $50,000 cash only.

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