Hitchhiker surrenders after standoff in Jennings County

JENNINGS COUNTY — A female hitchhiker accused of stabbing a truck driver and barricading herself in a semi near a North Vernon business surrendered after an hour standoff.

Andrea C. Sharber, 41, Mt. Vernon, was being evaluated at a hospital after the incident on Tuesday on Highway 7 north of North Vernon, said Lt. Mike Mowery, Jennings County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

The incident began between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Monday when the semi truck driver, Russell D. Lewis, 68, of Missouri, picked up Sharber hitchhiking along Interstate 64, Mowery said. Sharber told the semi driver she wanted to go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lewis agreed to give her a ride and drove to North Vernon where the two spent the night in the semi, Mowery said. Lewis then told Sharber he had a few stops to make in North Vernon.

Lewis called 911 at 10:17 a.m. Tuesday near Decatur Plastics on Highway 7, telling officers that a female hitchhiker had stabbed him, Mowery said.

He told sheriff deputies that the two were talking and Sharber told him she wanted to get back to her boyfriend in Mount Vernon, but Lewis told her he wasn’t going that way — that he he was headed back to Missouri, Mowery said.

Sharber picked up a folding knife she found in the truck and told him to take her to Mount Vernon or she would stab him, Mowery said.

Lewis told her he needed to go out of the cab to shut the door on the trailer, and as he did, she stabbed him in the right arm, causing about a 1/4-inch deep stab wound, Mowery said. He then got out of the truck and called 911. He was later treated at the scene, Mowery said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.