After pleading guilty in September to Intimidation as a Class D felony, Carl Balaszek received his sentence before Judge Kim Hall in the Starke Circuit Court. Balaszek admitted to threatening the parents of his ex-girlfriend during what he describes as a “bad breakup” that has put his future in jeopardy. The victim submitted a letter to be read aloud in court, in which he stated that he was placed in fear of his life by Balaszek and was glad to see justice being served.
Balaszek was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections with nine months of that sentence suspended. A second count of Intimidation was dismissed as part of the agreement, and Balaszek will serve his sentence on home detention with electronic monitoring. He will be on probation for nine months following his release from home detention. Balaszek will also complete all programs recommended by Community Corrections and submit a DNA sample to the state.
A plea agreement for Bruce Banks was also rejected in the Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday that would have dismissed his charge of Burglary as a Class B Felony to plead guilty to Theft. Banks was arrested after the state crime lab analyzed blood that was found inside of a home that was broken into—blood that matched up and led to a person that had previously been in prison on Burglary charges: Banks. Banks was not present in the courtroom and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
A plea was also rejected in the Circuit Court, that of Trent Sloan, a 37-year-old facing a charge of Non-Support of a Dependent Child. The plea agreement was rejected because during the court discussion there was a disagreement on how much child support is owed each week. The defense and the state will likely renegotiate to come to a new agreement.
A plea agreement was rejected for Randy Freet. Freet would have pleaded guilty to Strangulation to serve 22 months in the Department of Corrections, but the agreement was rejected. Freet failed to appear in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Thomas Norem received his sentence in the Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday for one count of Theft as a Class D felony after pleading guilty early this week as part of a plea agreement. Norem was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections, six months of which were suspended. Norem will serve his 18-month sentence on home detention with electronic monitoring under Community Corrections, and will be on probation for six months after his release. He was given two days credit.
Norem pled guilty earlier this week to stealing a horse trough and horseshoes from Mike Clemons; however, he was not sentenced because the plea agreement asked for $2385 in restitution for the victim but the stolen items were returned and there were no damages. The case was continued to allow time for the defense attorney, Richard Ballard, to discuss the restitution matter with the victim.