Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Murder Suspect Shocks Court ; Tells Judge of Role during Bail Hearing

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Murder Suspect Shocks Court ; Tells Judge of Role during Bail Hearing

Article excerpt

A judge sent a former Carmi man charged with shooting and killing a Gibson County, Ind., woman near Crossville, Ill., over the weekend back to jail to "settle down" when he disrupted a court hearing Monday morning. Bail was set at $2 million for Thomas Davidson, 25, who has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Sandra "Sandy" Burkhardt, 58, of Princeton, Ind. Her body was found Saturday evening in a cornfield about three miles west of Crossville.

"Initially, he was quite disruptive, using profanity," said White County Sheriff Doug Maier of Davidson, who was making his initial appearance in White County Circuit Court. "When the judge told him he faced between 30 to 60 years in prison for some of the charges related to the shooting, he acknowledged committing the crime by saying - "(expletive) - that's already been established!"

Maier said Davidson was taken back to the county jail but was later returned before Associate Judge Mark Shaner, who advised him of the charges against him and the possible penalties without further incident.

White County State's Attorney Denton Aud filed charges of first- degree murder, aggravated battery during the discharge of a firearm, aggravated vehicular hijacking and aggravated discharge of a firearm against Davidson.

A public defender was appointed to represent Davidson at a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 9 in White County Circuit Court.


Davidson was arrested initially on charges of aggravated battery from a shooting early Saturday at Mount Vernon, Ind., according to Gibson County Sheriff George Ballard. Police said that after a string of burglaries and a second shooting, officers in four counties - Gibson, Posey, Pike and Warrick - were looking for Davidson over the weekend.

Ballard said the "one-man crime wave" started on Friday when Burkhardt, 58, was last seen leaving the Princeton, Ind., Walmart around 10 p.m. with her grandchild. A missing-person report was filed for Burkhardt after her daughter arrived at her house around 11 p.m. Friday and found the grandchild there, alone but not injured. …

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