Suspect in Salem, Ind. murders allegedly said he'd taken care of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Suspect in Salem, Ind. murders allegedly said he'd taken care of county's 'biggest drug problems'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Authorities say the suspect in a double-murder that took place in Salem, Indiana, is related to one of the victims.

Joseph Hambel told a 17-year-old on the night Valerie Dicus and Joseph Hobson were killed that he just took care of one of Washington County's biggest drug problems, according to a new police report.

Hambel wouldn't speak to us during a court appearance today.

The report says the 29-year-old went to the home of a Salem police detective earlier Friday saying he wanted to do something about the community's drug problem. He told the officer he was related to Dicus -- a cousin, we've confirmed -- and that he was concerned about a nephew in the home where he believed drugs were being sold.

It's all a surprising revelation to neighbors like Clifford Kozart.

"They was good neighbors," Kozart said. "They was quiet all the time."

Court records also state that Hambel admitted to going to the house to scare the victims, but then there was a struggle. Hambel and Hobson fought over gun. Hambel told police it then went off, shooting Dicus. Police say he then shot Hobson multiple times. 

Officers found the weapon in the bathroom at Hambel's apartment. 

"I hate to see anything like that happen," Kozart said. "I knew some of the boys up there."

The victims in this case are well known to community and police. Dicus was a repeat felony offender serving time for meth. Hobson was convicted multiple times for burglary and theft. 

Prior to this Hambel, had no criminal history in Washington County.  

Emotions spilled from the courtroom as family members on both sides left without comment. We've learned at least one minor was in the home at the time of the shooting: a 15-year-old boy. It's unclear at this time whether that was the nephew Hambel was concerned about. 

Hambel pleaded not guilty this morning. He's being held without bond. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for Thursday. 

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