The Testimony That Convinced a Jury

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Guilty Verdict for Johnus Orr_05641143-159532

With four days of testimony from multiple witnesses in the Johnus Orr trial, here is an extended look at the testimony we couldn’t fit into our reports.

The first to take the stand is Sean Drake, the farmer who discovered Tiffanie Adams body in his corn field 55 days after she had been killed. It was December 30, 2014. Drake says it was a late harvest that year due to the weather. He says he thought Adams’ body was a doll or trash. When he realized what it was, he said her vibrant pink shirt stood out the most. Something he will never forget.

Chris Fitzgerald with the Indiana State Police testifies that police determined the red sweatshirt, tied in a fierce knot around her neck was the cause of death. A leaf made its way into the knot which indicated to police that she was killed in the field, also considering the disturbed corn stocks surrounding her body. 

At that point, her body was decomposing. Police could not detect any DNA from the scene due to the elements that ensued that winter. Adams is identified through dental records, her orthodontist also testifies to verify.

Vigo Co. Pathologist Roland Kohr testifies the determined cause of death is ligature strangulation and that Benadryl, Antihistamine and a very small amount of alcohol were in her system.

Kohr testifies that Adams’ son, that she carried for 8 months would’ve been viable outside of the womb.

Artem McHenry testifies that he is the father of Adams’ unborn son. McHenry was adopted from Russia at age 9 and having a son is something he always wanted. He and Adams had already chosen a name, but her addiction to prescription pills caused problems in the relationship. McHenry wanted her to stay clean at least through her pregnancy. He says that’s one of the reasons the two took a break, during that time McHenry wanted to find a better job to create a better life for their son.

McHenry says Adams complained about her step-father, Brian Orr (Johnus’ father) being sexually inappropriate with her and that caused tensions between Adams and Johnus. McHenry says he was living with Adams and her father, Bruce Adams, and he claims Johnus said on multiple occasions, “I will kill you all” during arguments.

Amber Rogers (formerly Orr) testifies that she has previously said, if she ever thought Johnus killed Tiffanie, she would divorce him.

She says Orr was always cheating on her and on November 5, when Adams went missing, she thought he was out cheating. She got a text message from Johnus on a foreign number (evidence reveals it was Adams phone) saying his vehicle broke down.

When Rogers picked Orr up she took their young son along in their golf cart. Orr took his sweatshirt off to cover his son and Rogers examined his bare skin, looking for scratch marks to see if he was cheating, but says she found none.

After Orr’s arrest in January 2015, Rogers told police if Tiffanie was strangled she would’ve fought back, but Rogers found no marks on her ex-husband. Police say no one knew how Tiffanie died at that point except law enforcement.

Rogers says Orr never told her who’s phone he was using that day (he claimed to police “crack heads” stopped to help him with his vehicle and let him use their phone.)

She says after Adams disappearance there were vigils and other community events, but Johnus wouldn’t allow her to go and she didn’t because, “he was abusive.”

She testifies that Brian Orr (Johnus’ father) called about an SD card that went missing from his trail camera outside his home on November 5. The next day Amber and Johnus replaced the SD card.

Adams’ father, Bruce, lived across the street from Brian and Chirstina Orr (Adams mother), he claims he saw Amber and Johnus ‘fiddle’ with the trail camera after Adams made a final distress call to him. Bruce says he heard struggling in the call and a male’s voice which he believed to be Brian Orr. Adams was staying at her father Bruce’s house before she went missing, she was last known to be walking from Bruce’s home to Christina Orr’s.

Chief of Sullivan city Police Jesse Morin testifies that two months prior to Adams disappearance, Johnus Orr filed a police report because Adams and her mother Christina called him a rapist. The witness testifies that Orr was angry and demanded ‘this needs to stop.’

Kevin Horan an FBI cellular analyst gives a map and time outline that text messages were sent and phone calls were made to and from Adams phone on November 5. Text messages were being sent to Amber Rogers within the same time that distress or struggle calls were made to Bruce Adams. 

Sullivan Co. Sheriff Clark Cottom testifies that during his extensive interviews with Orr, he suggests Adams and Orr were together moments leading up to her disappearance which made Orr angry. Cottom says Orr told him at one point he told Tiffanie, “I will kill anyone who messes with my dad.”

Final testimony comes from John Klein, a former jail cell block mate as Orr. The witness says Orr and he became fairly close, at one time they were watching a cold case T.V. series in which a young girl was killed. The witness asks Orr ‘how could anyone not come clean’, he says Orr replies, “you’d be amazed what you can live with when you have to.”

The witness says Orr told him because Adams slandered his family on social media, he didn’t feel bad about what he had done to her, but he did about the baby. And that Orr later asks if the witness thinks God will forgive him for his sins.

When asked why the witness testified, he says because it’s the right thing to do.

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