Indy man to serve 14 years for ‘targeted’ robbery of elderly Franklin man

An Indianapolis man will serve 14 years in prison for robbing an elderly Franklin man in a “targeted attack.”

Michael J. Brown, 59, was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty in April to the sole charge of robbery causing bodily injury, a Level 3 felony. Johnson Circuit Court Judge Andy Roesener sentenced Brown to 14 years in prison, noting that a seriously aggravated sentence was appropriate, according to a Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office news release.

On Feb. 7, 2023, an 84-year-old Franklin man reported that he was assaulted in the driveway of his home following a trip to the Horseshoe Casino in Shelbyville. The victim told police that a man he did not know, later identified as Brown, approached him in the driveway asking for directions to Batesville, prosecutors say.

After being provided with directions, Brown punched the man in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. Brown then pushed the man’s head into the concrete and repeatedly kicked him in the side and head, after taking his wallet with $6,000 in casino winnings, prosecutors say.

During the investigation, it was learned the Brown was at the casino and followed the man for around 30 miles after witnessing him win, prosecutors said. Franklin Police Chief Kirby Cochran described the situation as “a targeted attack” in a statement at the time.

“This was a targeted attack, and the Franklin Police Department has no reason to believe that there are any further threats to the neighborhood or Franklin community,” Cochran said in a press release on the incident.

Prior to his argument, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Kubacki presented evidence on Brown’s criminal history, including a Florida news article detailing a 2004 case where Brown was convicted of robbery against an 84-year old Tampa man in almost identical circumstances. Kubacki argued for an aggravated sentence for the Level 3 felony given the specifics of the Brown’s actions, the long term trauma the robbery has caused the victim and that his age coupled with his criminal history indicate “someone who should know criminal acts carry consequences but (Brown) clearly does not care,” prosecutors said in a news release.

“It’s hard for me to comprehend what a coward this defendant is. Not content to just rob a helpless senior citizens, he had to show his complete lack of humanity by kicking a fellow human in the head when he’s on the ground and helpless. Not just a thief, but a sadistic bully and a coward,” Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner said in the news release.

“This is yet another example of criminals from other counties coming into our community to prey on our people. I’m sure he now realizes he tried this in the wrong county. He’s leaving today in a sheriff’s van to go spend more than a decade in an 7’ X 10’ steel cage. I hope he tells his friends,” Hamner added.