Murder defendant takes a plea; will testify against co-defendants

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Joshua Braden White pleaded guilty Friday to burglary rather than face trial for murder for the Sept. 28, 2020, killing of Amber Barrett.

Barrett was killed inside her grandmother's house in the 900 block of Southlea Drive. Her body was discovered the morning of Sept. 29. Initially, the 911 call came in as a drug overdose, but officers discovered someone shot and killed Barrett.

White, 30, was there when Barrett was killed, and he agreed to testify against Emily Ann Madison, Michael Penrod and Joseph Adkins, who also face various charges including murder, robbery, burglary, battery, intimidation, perjury and theft in connection to Barrett's killing.

White faced the same charges, but with his plea, all of the charges except the Level 2 felony burglary will be dismissed at his sentencing hearing, according to the plea agreement.

Grand jurors indicted the four last spring, and they also indicted Brandon Parsons, who is charged with lying to the grand jury and assisting Madison after the killing. White agreed to testify against Parsons, too.

Because grand juries are secretive, there are no court documents describing the probable cause for the charges against the four defendants or what role each might have had in Barrett's killing.

If White refuses to truthfully testify, prosecutors can revoke the plea agreement and try him for all of the grand jury indictments against him, including murder, burglary, robbery, battery, intimidation, perjury, theft, and obstruction of justice, according to the plea agreement.

White will be sentenced at 10 a.m. April 24 in Tippecanoe Superior 2. He faces between 10 and 30 years in prison, according to Indiana law.

Tentatively, Madison's trial is scheduled for June 12; Penrod and Adkins are scheduled for trial on April 10.

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This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Murder defendant takes a plea; will testify against co-defendants