COLUMBUS, Ind. — Bartholomew County Prosecutor William Nash faces nine criminal charges, including two felonies, after a Mother’s Day dispute in which he threatened to kill a neighbor, according to court documents released Thursday.
Nash was charged July 15 with the felonies of obstruction of justice, and intimidation. He also was charged with these misdemeanors: intimidation, interference with the reporting of a crime, disorderly conduct, and four counts of harassment.
Nash’s neighbors, Scott and Monica Salazar-Stuck, filed a report with Columbus Police Department on May 8, which was Mother’s Day, alleging that the prosecutor threatened Scott’s life.
An Indiana State Police detective began investigating the case May 11. In court documents, the investigator said, “The Stuck’s (sic) are very concerned for their safety due to Nash’s erratic behavior, Nash’s position and power as the Bartholomew County Prosecutor, and Chief Law Enforcement Office in the county. Nash had shot a BB gun towards their house in the past. Mr. and Mrs. Stuck stated they are in fear for their safety and believe that Nash can carry out his threats to kill Mr. Stuck.”
The Stucks told the investigator that the Mother’s Day dispute began while Scott was mowing the yard and Nash approached “with an angry look on his face.”
Scott told the investigator that he stopped mowing, and Nash then shouted, “You have dangerous dogs, this is the last time. You yell about a BB gun being dangerous, your dogs are dangerous,” the court documents say.
Scott says he replied, “Don’t come on my property yelling at me. Get off my property.”
Scott told the investigator that Nash began to leave while shouting, “Dam (sic) dogs better be on a leash. Those are dangerous dogs and he better get a lawyer.”
Scott resumed mowing and found a small animal collar with the name “Pepe” on it. He called the phone number on the collar, and it went to Nash’s voicemail.
So, Scott took the collar over to Nash, who was gardening outside his home. Nash admitted the collar was his, Scott told the investigator.
Scott says he then asked Nash if he wanted to discuss their dispute like adults. According to court documents, Scott told the investigator that Nash replied, “You think a BB gun is dangerous! Your dogs are dangerous. A BB gun is not going to kill you! You have kids playing with the dogs! You think a BB gun can kill you! I can kill you! I will kill you and Indiana State Law says I can kill you! Dude, you came into my yard screamed at me about a shooting a BB gun! You put up a fence! Throw it (the small animal collar) and go, the last time I checked I am still the chief law enforcement officer until December 31 so go ahead and call the cops! Good luck with that! Throw me my thing!”
Scott’s wife, Monica, recorded some of the interaction in the backyard on her cellphone, and she told the investigator she’d heard Nash say, “Indiana Laws says I can kill you!” and then began recording audio and video.
Nash has been prosecutor in the county southeast of Indianapolis since 2003. He did not seek reeelction in May’s Republican primary.
Jennings Superior Court Judge Gary L. Smith was appointed as special judge and Franklin W. Arkenberg of Milan was appointed special prosecutor for Nash’s case. Smith unsealed court documents in the case on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, an initial hearing set for Wednesday afternoon in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 was canceled after a “Waiver of Hearing by Party,” according to online court records.