In the evening of March 7th, a jury empaneled in Hamilton Superior Court No. 3 found 56-year-old Katrina Louise Fouts of Pendleton guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report human remains following a six-day trial. Conspiracy to commit murder is a Level 1 felony, which carries a sentencing range of twenty to forty years in prison with the advisory sentence being thirty years. Failure to report human remains is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of sentence of 365 days in jail.
The Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office brought charges against Mrs. Fouts in September 2020 under cause number 29D03-2009-MR-005701 relating to the April 2020 death of David Michael Fouts of Pendleton. Mrs. Fouts had been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and failure to report human remains. Although Mrs. Fouts was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, the jury found her not guilty of the allegation of murder.
"I am extremely proud of Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andre Miksha and Deputy Prosecutor Eric Massey for their hard work and dedication in this case. They have worked tirelessly on this complex case with detectives from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office under very difficult circumstances throughout the Covid-19 pandemic." said Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II "I would be remiss to not also recognize the considerable investment of time and resources by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, especially by lead detective G. Lockhart and his fellow detectives, during the homicide's investigation and preparations for this trial," Buckingham continued.
The Court entered judgment of acquittal as to the murder count but took the jury's guilty verdicts under advisement pending the sentencing hearing set for 1:30 p.m. on March 31st. Mrs. Fouts remains held at the Hamilton County Jail awaiting sentencing.
This was the first Hamilton County murder investigation during the COVID pandemic and the first murder case that Prosecutor Lee Buckingham’s office has brought to trial this year, during which the courts postponed many jury trials until recent weeks.