SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A Merom man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after appearing in Sullivan County Court.

William R. Grimes, known as Billy Ray, appeared in Sullivan Superior Court before Judge Hugh R. Hunt on Friday afternoon for sentencing. Grimes had previously been convicted by a jury to three felony charges.

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon
    • A level 4 felony
  • Battery resulting in serious bodily injury
    • A level 5 felony
  • Theft of a firearm
    • A level 5 felony

According to the probable cause affidavit, the charges stem from the events of September 23, 2022, when Grimes was approached by a homeowner who believed Grimes had been stealing from his property. According to the victim, he approached Grimes while armed with a rifle, but Grimes reportedly struck the victim, causing him to lose consciousness.

When the victim regained consciousness, he saw Grimes’ vehicle leaving the area, and his rifle was missing. Grimes reportedly took the rifle to a third party who returned the weapon to Indiana State Police.

Vigo County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts was assigned as a special prosecutor in the case and said the sentencing was enhanced by the fact Grimes was labeled a habitual offender.

Roberts said the sentencing was as follows;

Ten years in prison for the possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon charge, with 20 years added for being a habitual offender. Five years for the battery charge, and 5 years for the theft of a firearm charge. All to run consecutively for a total of 40 years.