Vigil planned for motorcycle victim

Staff Reports

A vigil to remember 18-year-old Hope resident Xavier Scrogham is planned from 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

The event is sponsored by Black Lives Matter of Columbus.

Scrogham died Aug. 29, 2016, in a motorcycle accident after he was involved in a police pursuit involving an off-duty Nashville police officer, Leonard Burch, 25, of Indianapolis.

Last month, Burch was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 to a Class B misdemeanor, false informing, as part of the case. A Class C misdemeanor charge, the least serious in Indiana, of reckless driving was dismissed as part of the agreement.

The guilty plea came two days after the anniversary of Xavier Scrogham’s death. Scrogham was the motorcyclist who died after Burch began a police pursuit at 11:36 p.m. Aug. 29, 2016, on U.S. 31 near Lowell Road on the north side of Columbus.

The probable-cause affidavit filed in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 accused Burch of pursuing Scrogham recklessly at a high rate of speed through Columbus and rural Bartholomew County before losing track of the motorcyclist and ending the pursuit. The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department released a video of the pursuit from the Nashville car’s camera showing the two passing through Columbus, running several red lights.

A sheriff’s deputy found Scrogham, who had been thrown from his motorcycle, in a field off Sunland Road east of Columbus at 11:43 p.m. Aug. 29, 2016. He had missed a 90-degree turn and struck a telephone pole guy wire, deputies said. He died at the scene from head and neck trauma, according to the coroner’s office.