Two men charged with hindering a suicide investigation in Lawrenceburg
DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (WKRC) - Two men face charges after investigators say they hindered a suicide investigation outside a Lawrenceburg bar. William Skipton, 44, faces charges of assisting suicide and carrying a gun without a license. Steven Melrose, 46, is accused of false informing and sale of an alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person.
Police found Clarissa Schultz dead from a gunshot wound to the head just outside the Levee Breaker Bar on May 20. Police suspected it was a suicide based on the evidence and witness information, however, they couldn't find the gun. Without it, they couldn't close the investigation.
Police say they later learned Skipton allegedly hid the gun in the ceiling tiles of the bar before police got there. Even though Melrose, who was the bartender, said he didn't know where the gun was, he later admitted to seeing Skipton hide it.
Investigators believe Skipton owned the gun but hid it because he wasn't allowed to have a gun as a prior felon. Melrose apparently misled investigators to try to protect Skipton.
"This was a tragic situation. Ms. Schultz was despondent and took her own life," said Prosecutor Lynn Deddens in a statement. "Everyone involved would have liked to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the sake of the family and friends of the deceased. These men are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but their actions caused a significant delay while police made sure of their findings."
Skipton also faces a charge of operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture for license for life.