Two men agree to cooperate in Hays case

September 26, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

A Lawrenceburg man and an Indiana man have agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a case against those they believe concealed the death of a Danville man and ran a multi-million marijuana farm in Gravel Switch.

Dean Heckathorn of Indiana said he went to Michael Hays' house in Forkland on Easter Sunday and saw the body of Russell "Rusty" Marshall, 31, of Danville, on the living room floor.

Heckathorn said he helped Michael Hays; his wife, Trena Hays; and her son, Derek Keith Brummett, wrap Marshall up in plastic and put him in a horse trailer.

No one has been charged yet with killing Marshall.

Marshall's body was found buried on a 22-acre farm in Odon, Ind. that belonged to Ken and Nancy Heightchew of Newcastle, Ky. Neighbors near the Indiana farm, who didn't want to be identified, said that Hays kept horses in the stables there.


Heckathorn said a blue truck owned by Marshall was cut in half and salvaged.

William "Butch" Beasley, of Lawrenceburg, told authorities that he helped strip and harvest marijuana on Michael Hays' farm.

Both Beasley and Heckathorn pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. They are to be sentenced on Jan. 8, almost two months after the trial of the Hayses and Brummett, which is set for Nov. 17.

Others accused of being involved in the marijuana farm are William David Miller; his daughter, Beverly Hall; his son, David Scott Miller; and his son-in-law, Frank Hall.

William David Miller faces an attempted murder charge in Odon, Ind., for shooting Michael Hays. He said that he shot Michael Hays because he feared for his life.

In preparation for that trial he hired a private investigator, James Starks, of Midway. Starks' office interviewed Beasley as a potential witness for Miller's trial. That trial was postponed and a pretrial conference will be held on Oct. 14.

Liz Maples can be reached at

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