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[ATG] Two Franklin students receive AG’s Hoosier Hearts Hero Award
Start Date: 7/1/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/1/2013
Entry Description

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Two high school students who produced a public service announcement video to aid Franklin police in solving an unsolved double murder were recognized today with the Hoosier Hearts Hero Award presented by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

 

During the final weeks of the spring semester at Franklin Community High School, students Mason Clark and Austin Schmidt volunteered to produce a PSA video that recounts details of the unsolved murders of Chynna Dickus, 26, and her stepson Blake Dickus, 10, in Franklin in 2006. 

 

The slayings of Blake and Chynna Dickus by an unknown intruder in a Franklin home July 24, 2006, were carefully investigated by police, but the homicides have not been solved and no suspect has been arrested yet.  Produced in cooperation with police, the students’ PSA video encourages the public to contact the Franklin Police Department with any tips that might help solve the crime.

 

“Moved by the victims’ families waiting many years for justice, these two young men took the initiative to create a very professional public service announcement to remind viewers that the public’s help still is needed to solve this crime.  It’s so encouraging to see young people selflessly step up to serve their community and the cause of public safety, and their families, teachers and fellow students can be proud of them for volunteering for this project,” Zoeller said.

 

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office represents the prosecution in appellate court and administers a Victim Advocacy program.  Zoeller presents the Hoosier Hearts Hero Award to individuals who serve as advocates for crime victims, either as volunteers or as professionals.

 

Both Clark and Schmidt were students in teacher Don Wettrick’s Innovations class at Franklin Community High School where they studied video production and editing. To jump-start the investigation of the Dickus murders, friends and family of Blake Dickus recently approached the teacher with the idea of producing a local public service announcement video. 

 

Clark, who was finishing his senior year and about to graduate, and Schmidt, who was finishing his junior year, devoted personal time and effort at the end of the semester to  film and edit the PSA in cooperation with the Franklin Police Department.

 

Their video, featuring a recounting of the unsolved crime and interviews with police and victim family members, ends with an offer of a $10,000 private reward for information leading to a conviction in the Dickus murders, and provides the police crime tip line, 317-736-5111.

 

The PSA aired in early June during newscasts on Indianapolis television stations. It went viral online and will also be played on local access cable channels as well as in Franklin-area movie theaters before feature films. 

 

Former Franklin Community School Board member John Wales, who helped facilitate an effort to create a reward fund for tips to solve the crime, nominated Clark and Schmidt for the Attorney General’s Hoosier Hearts Hero awards.  Zoeller presented the awards to the two students today during a ceremony at a meeting of the Franklin City Council where Clark and Schmidt were joined by family and local officials.

 

“Young people might assume they can’t make a difference in their community, but Mason Clark and Austin Schmidt have demonstrated that they can: through good citizenship, respect for law and compassion for crime victims,” Zoeller said.

NOTE: A YouTube video of the PSA produced by the students is at this link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1xTJ-yNoUc

 -30-

Location Information:
Johnson County

State House
IN
Marion
Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.3970
Email: Bryan.Corbin@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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