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An Indiana Man Didn’t Like Where His Buddhist Neighbor Put a Mailbox. So He Shot Him in the Head.

Property Dispute Between Neighbors Ends With One of Them Shot Dead
Source: Brown County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

A dispute over the location of a mailbox ended with murder.

Aug. 30 2023, Published 10:15 a.m. ET

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A man in Indiana didn’t like where his neighbor put his mailbox, so he fatally shot him in the head. He will spend 60 years in prison for the cold-blooded murder.

Randy Steven Small, 58, and his neighbor, Bob Adair, a 70-year-old wood craftsman and Buddhist, got into a property line dispute in September 2021 after Adair placed a post for his mailbox, The Herald-Times reported.

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On Sept. 15, 2021, Small drove his tractor to Adair’s property, shot the unarmed man to death while he was sitting with his dog in his Ford F-150 pickup at the end of his driveway in rural Brown County and then Small drove back to his home to hide the murder weapon, “hoping no one else would find out what you’d done,” Brown Circuit Judge Mary Wertz said during sentencing.

Wertz added, "You shot him directly in the head at close range and that resulted in the blowing off of his head. And you left him in that truck,” The Herald-Times reported.

Adair’s body was found the next day, officials said.

On July 25, a jury found Small guilty of murder after four hours of deliberation.

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"Both Bob and Randy believed the little patch of land was theirs," Brown County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Seet said in a statement after the verdict. "It culminated with Randy tearing out and running over Bob’s mailbox. Nobody should have been killed over such a trivial matter.”

Because of the horrific nature of the shooting, Judge Wertz said Small deserved a longer sentence before handing down his 60-year sentence.

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Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams told The Herald-Times, "Nothing will ever bring Bob Adair back, and his murder was malicious and meaningless. But I hope that justice having been carried out can help assuage some of his loved ones’ anguish."

Small said he will appeal his conviction and sentence and asked the judge to appoint a public defender for the appeal, The Herald-Times reported.


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