Man accused of shooting ISP trooper in head charged with attempted murder

ISP Trooper recovering after grazed by bullet

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Wearing an orange jumpsuit with a bandage wrapped around his left arm, Oscar Kays walked out of a Clark County circuit courtroom minutes after listening to a judge read him his charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and resisting law enforcement just less than 24 hours after Indiana State Police said he shot a state trooper in the head.

"We're just thankful that his guardian angel was there with him that last night because he's a very, very lucky man," Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.

Goodin said Trooper Morgenn Evans had pulled Kays over Tuesday evening around 7 near the intersection of Park and Jefferson Streets in Jeffersonville, Ind., for a traffic violation. Evans had conducted a field test to see if Kays was driving while intoxicated and was trying to take him to another location for a breath test when, according to police, a scuffle broke out. It was during this scuffle that police said Kays pulled out a handgun and shot at Evans, hitting him in the forehead.

"He didn't want to go to jail," Goodin said. "He said he didn't think it was wrong that he wanted to drink a couple of beers and not get in trouble and he just did not want to go to jail."

RELATED: ISP trooper injured in traffic stop released from hospital; suspect facing charges

Police said Evans was able to fire back at Kays as he tried to drive away, even getting into his car and pursuing him for a short period. Other law enforcement agencies later found Kays at his home and took him into custody. 

ISP said officers then saw Kays had a wound, which officials believe was from the earlier shooting. Officers took Kays to a hospital, where he was released later that evening and arrested.

Evans was also taken to the hospital Tuesday evening. He was released Wednesday morning and police said his prognosis appears to be positive.

Wednesday in court, the judge formally arraigned Kays, with Kays occasionally speaking back to the judge. At one point, the judge was explaining an enhancement to the attempted murder charge that could carry an extra five to 20 years in prison. Kays responded, "I don't think I'll live that long."

RELATED: ISP trooper hospitalized after being shot; suspect apprehended

"This is obviously no joking matter," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said. "This trooper is a young man with a family, was out trying to keep our community safe last night."

Mull said he is still reviewing the results of the ongoing investigation and could file more charges against Kays. He told WHAS11 he does expect to file at least one more charge of resisting law enforcement.

Kays is being held in jail on a $1 million cash bond.

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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