Hardinsburg, Ind. man sentenced for double murder in Salem - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hardinsburg, Ind. man sentenced for double murder in Salem

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Joseph Hambel Joseph Hambel
Joseph Hobson Joseph Hobson
Valerie Dicus Valerie Dicus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A judge has sentenced a Hardinsburg, Indiana, man to 121 years in prison for a double murder in Salem, Indiana, in August 2016.

Joseph Hambel's sentence includes two, 60-year terms for the deaths of Valerie Dicus, 37, and Joseph Hobson, 36, and a one-year term for trespassing, to be served consecutively, said Hambel's attorney Mark Clark.

The sentencing hearing was held Friday in Washington Circuit Court at Salem. A jury convicted Hambel of the charges last month.

A police report filed after Hambel's arrest said that Hambel told another person he just had taken care of one of Washington County's "biggest drug problems" in killing Dicus and Hobson.

The crime occurred early in the morning of August 20, 2016, at a home on Small Street in Salem, police said.

An affidavit said Hambel was concerned about a nephew living in the home, a place he believed drugs were being sold.

Court records said Hambel admitted going to the house to scare the victims. Hambel and Hobson struggled, then fought over a gun. Hambel told police it discharged, striking Dicus. Police say the then shot Hobson several times, records said.

Police found the weapon at Hambel's apartment.

Dicus had previous drug convictions; Hobson had a record of burglary and theft convictions, records showed. Hambel had no prior criminal history in Washington County, WDRB News reported.

Previous stories:

Indiana State Police arrest suspect in Salem double-homicide
Suspect in Salem, Indiana murders allegedly said he'd taken care of country's biggest drug problems
UPDATE: Indiana State Police arrest suspect in Salem double-homicide
Southern Indiana man convicted of killing 2 people in August 2017

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