Chase brings drug, attempted murder charges

From Local Sources

Maple III

SHOALS — An Indianapolis man was jailed on preliminary drug-dealing and attempted-murder charges after a weekend pursuit and shots-fired incident in the Shoals area.

The incident began at 5 a.m. Saturday as Martin County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. Tyler Reed was checking an abandoned vehicle on Pridemore Cemetery Road when another vehicle approached.

Reed made contact with the driver and recognized him as James R. Maple III, 30, Indianapolis, a man wanted out of Lawrence County.

Police say Reed, who smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from Maple’s vehicle, confirmed through dispatch that Maple was named in an active warrant. He then requested that Lawrence County law enforcement come to his location to assist.

Reed pulled his patrol vehicle forward at an angle to block Maple from leaving before exiting and ordering the wanted man out of his vehicle.

Authorities allege Maple put his vehicle in reverse, angling it toward Reed and his vehicle. The deputy had to move out of the way to avoid being struck and crushed between the two vehicles, according to the sheriff’s department.

Maple’s vehicle rammed the deputy’s patrol unit, forcing it out of the way. Maple then fled west on U.S. 50 with Reed in pursuit.

Police say Maple tried to elude Reed near the National Gypsum factory entrance by turning around and fleeing back east. Reed continued the pursuit as Maple turned north on Red School Road near State Road 650. The suspect then turned back west on U.S. 50 and continued to the U.S. 50/U.S. 150 junction where he continued until turning onto Mill Road southeast of Shoals.

Reed briefly lost sight of the vehicle as Maple crested a hill, according to the sheriff’s department. The deputy then observed an approaching vehicle, which turned out to not be Maple.

As Reed asked the other driver if he had met any other vehicles, several gunshots were fired from behind the deputy. Reed then noticed the suspect’s vehicle partially concealed under some trees in the front yard of a residence.

Reed left the immediate area to await assisting officers. Other Martin County deputies as well as members of the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, the Shoals Town Marshal and Department of Natural Resources conservation officers soon arrived.

Reed’s narcotics-certified K-9, Virka, was used for a free-air sniff of the suspect’s vehicle, which resulted in a positive indication for the odor of narcotics.

Virka and the Shoals marshal’s K-9, Adel, were then used for a track of Maple. The suspect’s hat, vape pipe and some shell casings were located but the dogs did not pick up on Maple’s trail.

Police say officers received information on Maple’s location and converged on a residence approximately 2 miles from the site of the shooting.


After 30 minutes of commands for Maple to exit a mobile home peacefully had received no response, police said, a sheriff’s department armored vehicle was used to ram the residence multiple times.

Maple exited peacefully and was taken into custody.


Officers executing a search warrant on Maple’s vehicle reportedly found a large amount of methamphetamine and marijuana, a scale, labeled baggies, paraphernalia and more than $4,000 in cash. Additional currency totaling nearly $2,000 was located on Maple’s person.

Police also executed a search warrant at the residence where Maple had been located. That search resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine and several firearms. The occupants, 28-year-old Amy K. Qualkenbush and 29-year-old Dustin M. Holt, both of Shoals, were taken into custody.

All three suspects were transported to the Martin County Security Center.

Maple is preliminarily charged with a Level 1 felony count of attempted murder, a Level 2 felony count of dealing methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony count of methamphetamine possession, Level 6 felony counts of resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, dealing marijuana, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and possession of paraphernalia.

Qualkenbush and Holt were preliminarily charged with Level 6 felony counts of methamphetamine possession.

Police reporting on the incident noted that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

More on