James A. Fernbach, Jr.
Ripley County Jail
(Batesville, Ind.) - It’s 60 years in prison for James Fernbach, Jr.
The Batesville man was sentenced yesterday in Ripley Circuit Court for two counts of Attempted Murder. Thirty years for each count will be served consecutively Judge Carl Taul ordered. He could have received up to 50 years on each of the counts.
Fernbach, 34, was found guilty during a jury trial last month.
It was in April 4, 2009 when Fernbach pulled out a gun unprovoked in the parking lot of the Batesville Food Mart along State Road 46. Philip Cruser, of Westport, was shot in the head as he sat in his parked pickup truck next to his wife.
Benjamin Dick, of Batesville, was hit by a bullet in the hand after witnessing the first shooting then scuffling with Fernbach, who then ran home and told police he was responsible for the shooting.
Cruser is alive, but permanently disabled today. He was able to testify Tuesday prior to Fernbach’s sentence being announced.
Throughout his week-long trial, Fernbach’s attorneys argued he was mentally ill and unable to comprehend the shootings were wrong. He had been diagnosed as bi-polar and psychotic, but stopped seeing a psychiatrist three months before the shooting.
Once the trial ended, it only took jurors three hours to return the guilty verdict.
Fernbach’s attorneys say there are plans to appeal the 60 year sentence.