Today's News

Obomsawin Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

 A South Bend man was sentenced Tuesday morning in Starke Circuit Court after pleading guilty to an amended count of child molesting as a Class C felony.

A plea recommendation was offered in the case of Adam Obomsawin which Judge Kim Hall accepted. Judge Hall sentenced Obomsawin, 36, to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended to be served on probation. In addition, Obomsawin was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment. Upon the successful completion of that course, he may petition the court for a modification of the sentence. He is to have no contact with the victim during the execution of his sentence.

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Gayheart Sentenced to 20 Years on Drug Charges

  A Starke County man was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Monday morning on several drug charges.

Corbin Gayheart pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to three charges in two separate cases. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Gayheart per the terms of that agreement.

Gayheart will serve 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended on a charge of possession of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a public park as a Class B felony. He was given an 18-month sentence with no part of the sentence suspended on a charge of possession of precursors or chemical reagents with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine as a Class D felony. Those sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time.

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Roberts Sentenced to Ten Years

  A man will spend ten years in the Indiana Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to charges presented in Starke Circuit Court.

Kenneth Roberts pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to charges of battery and domestic battery. He also admitted to a probation violation.  Continue reading

Several Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Several defendants were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Devin Trusty pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to a charge of operating a vehicle with a lifetime suspension. Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese accepted the plea agreement which called for a sentence of three years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended. While incarcerated, trusty will participate in a therapeutic community. If he successfully completes the CLIFF or GRIP program, he may petition the court for a modification of his sentence.

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Knox Man Pleads Guilty but Mentally Ill

 A Knox man pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two charges in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Frank Solberg, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of intimidation as a Class C felony and interference with reporting a crime as a misdemeanor. He admitted in open court that he threatened the life of his mother with a butcher knife if she were to call the police at the height of an argument. He also admitted that he ripped the telephone off the wall so she could not dial 911 to seek help from law enforcement.

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Walkerton Woman Sentenced to Ten Years in DOC

Courtney Owens

Courtney Owens

A Walkerton woman was sentenced in Marshall Superior Court after admitting to possessing heroin in her apartment located in Culver.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of heroin within 1,000 feet of a housing complex. She was sentenced by Judge Robert O. Bowen to ten years in the Indiana Department of Corrections on that charge. Owens was additionally sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison on a charge of neglect of a dependent in an unrelated case. The sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time, and she was ordered to undergo intensive drug treatment in the purposeful incarceration program.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Manufacturing Methamphetamine in Car

Gary Beatty

Gary Beatty

A man was sentenced in Marshall Superior Court 1 on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine while traveling in a vehicle.

Gary Beatty, 27, admitted in court that on Sept. 17, 2013 he was manufacturing methamphetamine in his vehicle. A concerned citizen notified police of suspicious activity inside the vehicle and a traffic stop was initiated after a Marshall County deputy found that the license plate number returned to a different vehicle and it was expired. Beatty could not supply the officer with a valid registration and current insurance. As a result, the vehicle was impounded.

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Heeter Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison

Amanda Heeter

Amanda Heeter

Plymouth woman was sentenced to 10 years in the Indiana Department Corrections after pleading guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and neglect of a dependent.

Amanda Heeter admitted to Judge Robert O. Bowen in Marshall Superior Court 1 that she conspired with two other defendants to manufacture methamphetamine in her home on Loon Court in Plymouth. She also admitted that the act of manufacturing methamphetamine placed a dependent child in danger.

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Plymouth Woman Sentenced to 10 years on Meth Charge

Crystal Bloomfield

Crystal Bloomfield

A Plymouth woman was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty in a plea agreement with the State to charge of Manufacturing Methamphetamine.

Crystal Bloomfield, 38, admitted in Marshall County Superior Court 1 that she assisted Travis Howell in the manufacturing methamphetamine at his residence on Kenilworth Road near Argos.

Four years of Bloomfield’s sentence was suspended. Bloomfield will be able to participate in intensive drug rehabilitation through the purposeful incarceration program.

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Plymouth Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Charge, Sentenced to Ten Years

Nathaniel White

Nathaniel White

A Plymouth man will be spending ten years in the Indiana Department of Corrections after pleading guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B felony.

Nathaniel White, 26, admitted in open court to dealing in methamphetamine on several occasions out of a residence on West Washington Street in Plymouth.

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Selner Sentenced to Six Years in DOC on a Battery Charge

Mark Selner

Mark Selner

A Plymouth man was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections after a Marshall County Jury found him guilty of Battery.

Mark Selner, 32, was accused of battering James Haddox while they were both incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail on Feb. 9, 2013. A video of the altercation was shown to the jury during Selner’s trial and Prosecutor Nelson Chipman emphasized that Selner sucker-punched Haddox and inflicted a total of 22 punches within a span of 19 seconds. At least 17 of those blows were inflicted while Haddox was on the floor. Haddox suffered a wound that required eight staples, an MRI and pain medication.

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LaPorte Jail Inmate Charged with Arson

An inmate has been charged with arson after setting a mattress on fire in his jail cell at the LaPorte County Jail.

After an investigation was conducted, it was found that on July 4, Marzono Shelly reportedly started the fire in his cell in the south end of the jail. 40 inmates were moved from that part of the jail and Shelly was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He was later transferred to the Indiana Department of Corrections due to his destructive and dangerous behavior.

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Starke County Community Corrections Named Level One Agency

Robert Hinojosa

On May 11, the Indiana Department of Corrections announced that Starke County Community Corrections has been designated a level one corrections agency. The announcement was made by Bruce Lemmon, Director of the State Community Corrections Department.

In the announcement, Lemmon said S.C.C.C. meets or exceeds standards established for the effective operation of a community correction agency.

Robert Hinojosa wishes to thank the S.C.C.C. Advisory Board for their support and guidance through the review process. Hinojosa said, “The Starke County Community Corrections agency may not be one of the biggest programs in the state, but we can certainly to be one of the best.”

Myrtle Beem Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Myrtle Beem

Myrtle Beem was recently sentenced in Starke Circuit Court.

She was sentenced to serve six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections on one count of Dealing in Methamphetamine as a Class B Felony. Four years of that sentence was suspended. Upon completion of her sentence, Beem will be placed on probation for four years and she shall complete a drug evaluation program and follow any recommended treatment as approved by the probation department.

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Samuel Smith Pleads Guilty to Domestic Battery

Samuel Smith

Samuel Smith plead guilty last week to battering his wife in the presence of his two-year-old child. Smith was present in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday along with his attorney, Richard Ballard.

Convicted of a Class D Felony, Domestic Battery with a Child Present, Smith will serve 18 months in the Department of Corrections with none of that sentence suspended. A $50 domestic violence fee has also been imposed, and he will submit to a DNA cheek swab. He was credited with 176 days served, and he is also required to complete a Batterer’s Intervention program.

As part of the plea agreement, charges of Criminal Confinement and Resisting Law Enforcement were dismissed.

Ken Singleton Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Ken Singleton

Having previously plead guilty to two counts of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor as a Class B Felony and Incest as a Class B Felony, 39-year-old Ken Singleton appeared before Judge Kim Hall in the Starke Circuit Court on Thursday to be sentenced. The victim of the sexual abuse was not present to make a statement but a victim impact letter she had written was read aloud in court.

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Joseph Giselbach Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Joseph Giselbach

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall sentenced Joseph Giselbach to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections, with no part of the sentence suspended, on a charge of Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony and Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class D Felony.

Giselbach, 32, of Knox, plead guilty to the charges. Judge Hall will recommend to the Department of Corrections that Giselbach be placed into an intensive methamphetamine treatment program while in prison. If he successfully completes the program, he may petition to have his sentence modified.

Week in Review December 27th-31st, 2010

Here are a few of the stories that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Megan Smithson, 19, of Illinois, died in an auto accident Sunday afternoon at the intersection of State Road 10 and State Road 35 in Starke County. Police say she pulled out onto US 35 and into the path of a vehicle driven by Tony Wagner of Winamac.

We heard from three of the four Starke County Councilmen who attended their last meeting December 20th. Chuck Estok, Bill Dulin, and Bruce Fingerhut (pictured right) said that they enjoyed working with the people of Starke County.

Gerald L. Broude, Jr. was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court, Tuesday. Judge Kim Hall sentenced him to 50 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. A jury had found him Guilty on four counts of Child Molestation on December 1st.

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State Senator Ed Charbonneau Discusses Criminal Sentencing Procedures

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

Editors note: Recently the Pew Center on the States and the Council of State Government Justice Center released a report on Indiana’s criminal sentencing procedures. WKVI’s Ted Hayes had an opportunity to interview the ranking member of the Senate’s Appropriation Committee this week, and what follows are Fifth District Senator Ed Charbonneau thoughts on the subject:

“One of the challenges of my position is being responsible on the senate side for the school funding formula. I’ve been sitting in on all budget committee hearings recently. These meetings give a preliminary view of what the recommendations, or requests are going to be for the next budget cycle. The Department of Corrections was one of the departments that came to those meetings. Some pretty stunning numbers came from those presenting the DOC’s needs.”

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Top 10 Stories of 2010; Story #2

Ernest Wireman

When it happened, it rocked the County. A Starke County woman had been brutally attacked and killed by her estranged husband. Mary Wireman had been at home when her husband Ernest stabbed her. Following that, he went to his step-son’s house and attempted to murder him, too.

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