A plea agreement was rejected by Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall in the case of Shawn Smith in a hearing Wednesday morning.
Smith had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of Receiving Stolen Property as a Class D felony in two separate cases. He admitted to stealing a John Deere Gator, a compressor and a welder from a storage shed in Holland, Mich. and attempting to sell those items in Starke County. A potential buyer believed that the item he was about to purchase was stolen and called the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. Smith was subsequently arrested. That occurred in January.
Judge Hall asked Smith why he stole the items and Smith could not give Judge Hall a straight answer as to his intentions. Judge Hall also asked Smith about his prior criminal history and Smith replied with a very vague answer. Smith did say that he was in a Michigan county jail prior to his hearing in Starke County in a child support case. He reportedly owes $18,000 in back child support in Michigan.
The plea agreement called for 18 months in the Department of Corrections with all time suspended to be served on probation and both counts to be served concurrently, but the judge did not feel that sentence would stop his tendencies to steal.
The plea agreement was rejected and a final pre-trial conference in this case was set for Thursday, Aug. 8 at 8 a.m. in Starke Circuit Court.