Indiana man sentenced to 240 years for brutal gas station murder

NEW ALBANY, IN – Cherok Ameer Douglass, a man convicted of a brutal double murder and assault at a southern Indiana gas station in April 2022, received a daunting prison sentence of 240 years on Wednesday. The verdict was handed down by Floyd Superior Court Judge Carrie Stiller, who deemed Douglass’s crimes as “the worst of the worst.”

Douglass, a resident of New Albany, was found guilty in August on charges of murder, attempted murder, and robbery that resulted in serious bodily injury. His victims included his wife, Brandee Kay Douglass, 38, and Lorin M. Yelle, 43, from Louisville, Kentucky.

The tragic events unfolded at the gas station when Douglass fatally shot Brandee Douglass and Lorin Yelle, who had no apparent connection to Douglass or his wife. Yelle was merely a customer at the gas station, and he was shot while walking to his vehicle.

After the shootings, Douglass attempted to flee but was pursued by the police. He later took Winnie Wen, the owner of a nearby restaurant, as a hostage. Wen suffered injuries when she fell from Douglass’s vehicle during the incident.

Throughout the trial, investigators found no evidence of a prior connection between Yelle and the Douglass couple. The motive behind the heinous crimes remained unclear.

During the sentencing hearing, Douglass expressed apologies to the family members of his victims but maintained his intention to appeal the jury’s verdict. Court documents revealed that Douglass was under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine on the day of his arrest.

Despite his defense attorneys’ plea for a minimum sentence of 131 years, Judge Stiller imposed the maximum penalty, ensuring that Douglass would spend the rest of his life behind bars.