Jury Finds Markel Not Guilty

A Jackson Circuit Court jury returned a not guilty verdict Thursday evening against Jackson County Commissioner and Crothersville school administrator Andrew ‘Drew’ Markel accused of the felony theft of a gun.
The decision came shortly after 8 p.m. and after the jury deliberated six hours.
The charges stem from a series of events culminating in Markel using a gift card that did not belong to him to purchase a firearm from Bite the Bullet on June 4, 2016, according to court records.
Markel was a part-time employee of the Seymour store, owned by Mark and Lauren Hopkins. He also is assistant superintendent with Crothersville Community Schools, but has been on administrative leave.
Indiana State Police began an investigation in June 2016 when the Hopkins reported Markel had purchased a handgun with a gift card originally issued to a customer Dec. 26, 2015.
That customer had purchased a handgun from the store but later decided to return it claiming it didn’t work properly, according to court documents. The customer received a $255.73 refund, which was put on a gift card to be used for a future purchase, according to court records.
The court document said that Markel took the handgun home for testing. He returned it to the storeowner saying the gun worked properly and that the customer complaint “appeared to be the result of user error.”
On Jan. 7, 2016, the customer came back to the store to look at other guns, and he and Markel got into a confrontation after Markel attempted to explain that the problem with the returned handgun might have been user error. Markel and another employee escorted the customer out of the store where the verbal exchange continued, the ISP’s report stated.
Markel’s employer told him to refund the money on the customer’s card and “zero it out,” according to court documents.
On June 4, 2016, Markel purchased a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun from Bite The Bullet.
The gun shop owners were able to determine that when Markel purchased the 9mm handgun, he had used the customer’s gift card.
Markel later told the owners he thought he had used a $100 gift card he received as a Christmas gift from his mother-in-law for the purchase, according to court documents.
Markel was represented by North Vernon Attorney Mark Dove; William Nash of Columbus was the special prosecutor in the case.