Embattled county deputy to retire

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Merit Board has canceled a Saturday hearing that was to consider the termination of 22-year deputy E. DeWayne Janes Sr.

That came after an announcement late Monday that Janes had decided to retire from the department effective Dec. 31.

Merit board members were to hear allegations of Janes’ misconduct at the hearing, which had been continued from November in order to give Janes’ attorney more time to work on the case.

Janes has been on paid administrative leave since September, sheriff department attorney Peter King said in an earlier interview.

Sheriff Mark Gorbett at the time accused Janes of violating three general orders and nine merit board rules and regulations while investigating a case.

Janes was accused of involving himself in an investigation involving his ex-wife and children, Gorbett said. That was after Janes had been directed to avoid getting involved in non-emergency calls regarding family members.

Janes had been made aware that his former spouse, Lisa Owsley, and their sons had been implicated by a neighbor during an Aug. 31 incident involving intimidation and harassment, the sheriff’s department said.

Janes chose to participate in inquiries about the complaint, Gorbett said.

Last year, Janes was disciplined for his involvement in the April 7, 2013, death investigation of Cary Owsley, who was married to Janes’ ex-wife.

Nearly four months after Owsley was found dead,

Gorbett on July 26, 2013, suspended three deputies, including Janes, for what he labeled “errors in judgment” in the death investigation.

Sgt. Dean Johnson, then-Detective Christie Nunemaker and Janes all violated department procedures and failed to manage the Owsley death scene correctly or properly preserve evidence, Gorbett said.

Among missteps were allowing Janes — who had a conflict of interest as a family member — to enter the death scene and help remove Owsley’s body from the home, records and taped statements from the investigation show.

Janes’ involvement in

that investigation led to

allegations of misconduct and a coverup against the sheriff’s department from Owsley’s sister, Cheryl Jackson, who had asked to address the merit board during Janes’ disciplinary hearing.

Jackson planned to have a rally with representatives of several justice organizations prior to Saturday’s hearing.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.