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Indiana Man Sentenced to 90 Years for Kidnapping and Trying to Kill Girl in ‘Graphic’ and ‘Unimaginable’ Crime


James Chadwell

An Indiana man who admitted that he used his pet dogs to lure a 9-year-old girl into his apartment before he kidnapped, molested, and attempted to murder her will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Steve Meyer on Thursday handed down a 90-year prison sentence to 42-year-old James Brian Chadwell II, who in October pleaded guilty to all of seven of the charges levied against him, including attempted murder, two counts of child molestation, kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery with serious bodily injury, and strangulation, Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN reported.

Chadwell had been facing a maximum sentence of 160 years in prison for his horrific offenses. His sentence included a 20-year habitual offender enhancement.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Chadwell claimed he was “very drunk” at the time he attacked the young girl, telling authorities that he didn’t have a clear memory of what happened. He did not dispute the victim’s account of what she endured, however.

“The victim fought the defendant, and is a true survivor of this unimageable attack,” Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington said in a statement Thursday. “The family thanked the Lafayette Police Officers for their outstanding effort to quickly locate the victim, and save her from any further harm”.

Chadwell was arrested on April 19, after officers with the Lafayette Police Department found the 9-year-old victim locked in the basement of his home located on Park Avenue, approximately a one-minute walk from the victim’s home.

The girl’s mother reportedly called 911 at approximately 7 p.m. on April 19 and reported that her 9-year-old daughter had been missing from their home on Main Street for approximately 30 minutes. Police reportedly eyed Chadwell quickly after a witness said the man had made comments about seeing the girl after she was reported missing, He reportedly told investigators the girl had been by his house but had already left.

Court documents obtained by Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR reportedly said that Chadwell attacked and strangled the victim after luring the girl into his home. The girl reportedly said she lost consciousness and woke up in the basement where Chadwell repeatedly sexually assaulted her. Per WTHR, the child later told investigators that Chadwell threatened to kill her if she tried to scream or tell anyone about what he had done.

“[Chadwell] hit her in the head multiple times because she was fighting back. Victim 1 said Chadwell was also choking her with his hands on her neck and also using his arm in a headlock, to the point where she passed out. Victim 1 said most of her clothes were off when she regained consciousness and Chadwell took her into the basement,” the affidavit reportedly said. He also reportedly forced her to perform oral sex on him.

When police found the victim, she was reportedly naked and had extensive bruising from a dog bite. Prosecutor Harrington said police bodycam footage of the rescue was “so graphic most people who observed it have sought mental health treatment.”

Chadwell had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea one day after Judge Meyer denied public defender Shay Hughes’s request for a change of venue out of the county. Hughes reportedly said Chadwell couldn’t get a fair hearing after media outlets reported that deputies were looking into the possibility that his client was linked to the 2017 unsolved murders of two young girls in Delphi, Abigail Joyce Williams, 13, and Liberty Rose Lynn German, 14, according to a report from Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR.

There appeared to be a possible break in the Delphi murders case last week, when the Indiana State Police released images from social media accounts for “anthony_shots,” which they said had been used to solicit nude pictures from underage girls, WXIN reported. ISP reportedly arrested Kegan Kline in connection with the accounts and charged him with more than 30 counts of crimes that include possession of child porn, child solicitation, and child exploitation.

Court documents obtained by the station reportedly said that investigators previously executed a search warrant on Kline about a week after Williams and German were murdered, though no clear link to their murders was apparent in the “heavily redacted” documents.

[image via Lafayette County Sheriff]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.