Friday, September 23, 2011

UFO NEWS | Conman, Bill Knell Avoids Jail Time on Charges of Child Neglect

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Bill Knell Avoids Jail
Knell avoids jail time on charges of child neglect

By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor

     Boone County — William Knell, 55, was ordered to spend the next three months on electronic monitoring and the next two years on probation by Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Edens Wednesday.

Knell, who was arrested May 9 on 10 counts of child neglect, accepted a plea agreement offered by the Boone County Prosecutor, under which he may not leave Indiana, must live for three months at 124 1/2 S. Lebanon St., and refrain from conducting any business on the Internet during his probation.

Edens suspended three 1-1/2-year jail terms on three class D felony child neglect counts, but ordered Knell to serve 90 days of active monitoring by Boone County Community Corrections. Knell will be then be on probation for two years.

Police and investigators from the Department of Child Services found the Knell home, 1610 Ashley Drive, Lebanon, crammed with rotting food, and toilets “filled with feces” during a June 3 inspection, according to court documents.

Knell must find a job or enroll in classes that lead to employment, and complete a parenting program.

Several people contacted The Lebanon Reporter after a March 31 story about the Knells, complaining they had been victimized by the couple in various Internet scams.

A Google search for the couple returned 281,000 hits, many for consumer complaint sites accusing the Knells of fraud.

Knell’s wife, Catherine, 47, is serving probation after accepting a child neglect plea agreement on Feb. 4.

The Knells’ landlord, Ron Boone, had asked Superior Court II Judge Rebecca McClure to evict the couple; while McClure had granted the request, on June 1 Boone told the court the Knells had begun to make rent payments, and asked the eviction be placed on hold. McClure granted what is essentially an “indefinite continuance” in the eviction.

In a Superior Court I case, Elliot Barnett, owner of the Ashley Drive home, was awarded a $5,674 damage claim against the Knells on Sept. 28, 2009. Court records show no further action on that case since the judgment was filed.

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