Attorney staged his own shooting, authorities say

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A southern Indiana attorney who reported he was shot at McCormick’s Creek State Park on June 25 staged his own shooting, authorities say.

Peter Raventos, 43, of Bloomington, who practices in Spencer, was arraigned Monday in Owen Circuit Court on a Class D felony charge of obstruction of justice and a Class B misdemeanor charge of false informing, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Bond was set at $5,000.

Raventos called 911 at 10:05 p.m. June 25 and told conservation officers he was shot in the back by an unknown gunman. Conservation officers said evidence collected at the scene, in a search of Raventos’ car and his home suggested he staged the event to portray himself as the victim of a random shooting.

Raventos was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he was treated for wounds inflicted by more than 20 shotgun pellets. He later was released.

Authorities said Raventos’ claim of an assailant in the park quickly began to unravel.  From witness interviews and evidence, conservation officers concluded that Raventos rigged a shotgun so he could fire it at himself from some distance.

“It was quite unusual from the minute we arrived,” DNR Law Enforcement District 5 Commander Lt. Kent Hutchins said Monday. “Evidence indicates it was staged by himself.”

Conservation officers, McCormick’s Creek staff, the Owen County Sheriff’s Department, Spencer Police and Indiana State Police searched the park and nearby area for a possible suspect but found none, according to the news release.

Witness statements led conservation officers to an area of the park where the shooting was believed to have occurred, DNR said. There officers found bungee cords, fishing line, a spent shotgun shell, an unspent shotgun shell and a small piece of plywood embedded with shotgun pellets. Conservation officer K-9 units searching the area also found a shotgun wad — a small plastic cup inside a shotgun shell casing that separates the pellets from the gunpowder. When fired, the wad is expelled and falls to the ground.

Conservation officer scuba divers searched the nearby White River and located a 20-gauge shotgun that was later linked to Raventos.

Hutchins said witnesses also reported hearing the sound of gunshots near White River before Raventos reported the shooting.

Hutchins said he wouldn’t characterize Raventos as cooperating with the investigation. He reported that the investigation is complete and no further charges are expected.

“This incident, whatever the motive, placed needless fear in the public’s mind that our state parks are unsafe,” DNR Director Rob Carter said in statement. “We do everything we can to make state parks an enjoyable experience for visitors, above all families. I’m pleased that our Law Enforcement Division was able to get to the bottom of this and bring it to a quick resolution so the public can have peace of mind when they visit the park.”

Raventos could not be reached on Monday. A telephone message for his attorney, Christine Haseman, was not immediately returned.

Raventos was admitted to practice law in October 1995. He is listed as active in good standing on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys with no history of disciplinary action.



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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

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  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."