Media Release: April 25, 2013

Arrest and murder charges filed in 1977 cold case
Michael Ackerman charged with beating death of 18-month-old child Billy Wood
  (Indianapolis, Ind.) Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced today that Michael V. Ackerman has been arrested and charged in the 1977 beating death of William T. (Billy) Wood, an 18-monthold child, born on April 15, 1975. Ackerman was arrested on Wednesday evening by IMPD officers after the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed a charge of Second Degree Murder. “No crime victim should ever be forgotten, particularly a young child such as Billy Wood,” Prosecutor Curry said. “Even though it is now 36 years after his death, it is our intent that justice will be served on his behalf. We commend the IMPD Cold Case Unit for their work on this case.” “The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is very proud of the work that Sgt. David Ellison put into this case,” said IMPD Chief Rick Hite. “We hope that this will bring a sense of closure to a family that’s suffered and wondered for many years what happened to their loved one.” According to the probable cause affidavit, Ackerman was the boyfriend of Wood’s mother at the time of the child’s death. Ackerman was babysitting Wood and his sister on January 17, 1977, while Wood’s mother was at work. An autopsy was performed on Billy Wood in 1977 and revealed blunt impact injuries to the head and the abdomen, several of which were fatal. Those findings were confirmed recently by independent forensic pathologists who further determined the manner of death to be homicide. Detective Sergeant David Ellison with the IMPD Cold Case Homicide Unit is credited with the investigation that led to the arrest and charges. Review of the case was initiated when the Unit was contacted by the victim’s sister. According to the statute in effect at the time of this offense, a person who purposely and maliciously, and without premeditation, killed another human being committed Second Degree Murder. That offense carries a term of imprisonment of 15-25 years or life.



This is the third cold case homicide where charges have been filed since 2011. In February 2011, Paul Reese, Sr., was charged in the 1987 murder of Dawn Stuard. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison in 2012. In July 2012, Rodney Denk was charged in the 1989 murder of Amy Weidner. His case remains pending and is set for jury trial later this year. A charge of a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. -30NOTE: Charging information and affidavit of probable cause is available at: Booking photo of Michael V. Ackerman is available at:‐


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