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Today's News

Domestic Violence Defendant Sentenced to Probation

 A man was sentenced to probation in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

William Jones pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of domestic battery as a Class D felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and Jones was sentenced to 18 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with the entire sentence suspended to be served on probation. Jones must pay a $50 domestic violence fee along with court costs.

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Curtis DeVries Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

  Curtis DeVries was sentenced Monday afternoon in Starke Circuit Court.

A 12-member jury found Curtis DeVries not guilty on a charge of burglary, but he was found guilty on a lesser included offense of residential entry, a Class D felony. The jury also found DeVries guilty on a charge of criminal mischief as a Class A misdemeanor. The verdicts came in on Friday, Oct. 24.

Judge Kim Hall told DeVries Monday that he has a large drinking problem that he needs to get under control. Judge Hall stated that if he hadn’t have consumed such a large amount of alcohol on the night of this event, he wouldn’t be in court facing a sentence.

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Probation Given to Hard-Working North Judson Man

 A good employment record and a commitment to help his mother with Alzheimers were just a couple of factors in Russell Hendron’s favor when it came to his sentencing hearing in Starke Circuit Court.

Hendron was charged with maintaining a common nuisance and possession of methamphetamine. Hendron took the stand where he explained that he had held at position at a North Judson business for three decades. He left his long-time employment to care for his mother who moved into his home after being diagnosed with Alzheimers. He said that he’s been working out of his home attempting to make ends meet. He accepted that fact that what he did was wrong and is ready to put this behind him.

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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Two defendants were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Monday morning.

Winford Hensley II pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state on three charges in three different cases: habitual traffic violator, possession by a meth offender and resisting law enforcement. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement.

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Miltenberger Sentenced to Three Years in the DOC

 Charles Miltenberger III, 23, pleaded guilty in plea agreements with the state to three counts in two different cases in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.

Miltenberger pleaded guilty in one case to Class D felony counts of auto theft and arson. He admitted that he stole a 1999 Grand Prix on the side of the road by Hamlet on May 12, 2014. He also admitted that he set that vehicle on fire.

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Arguments Taken under Advisement in Campbell Case

 Testimony was given in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court to suppress evidence in the case of James Campbell.

It is alleged that Campbell set fire to his business, C&C Salvage, also known as Starke County Recycling, at the intersection of Toto Road and U.S. 35 on March 20. Campbell is charged with a Class A felony count of arson.

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Sentencing Hearing Set for Jeremy Rowe

  A defendant in an incident in January of 2012 where a man was robbed, ordered to a bank at gunpoint and severely beaten appeared in Starke Circuit Court yesterday for a status hearing.

Jeremy Rowe has pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of burglary and receiving stolen property in his alleged participation in the event. His brother, Randall Rowe, was previously sentenced to 25 years in prison in his involvement in this incident and is currently serving time in the Indiana Department of Corrections.

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Randall Stone Sentenced to Work Release

 Randall Stone was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Stone, 45, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to an amended count of possession of methamphetamine as a Class D felony. He told Judge Kim Hall that he possessed the drug while in a car during a traffic stop in North Judson on Sept. 17, 2012.

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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Two defendants were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Carter Scutchfield pleaded guilty to an amended charge of receiving stolen auto parts as a Class D felony. The sentence was presented as an agreed recommendation to Judge Kim Hall. Per that recommendation, Scutchfield was sentenced to 26 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Sentence Modifications Heard in Starke Circuit Court

 A sentence modification was approved in the case of Douglas Beem.

He requested the judge to move from Community Transition Program (CTP) to probation and/or to home detention. The state objected to a move to probation but accepted a move to daily reporting home detention with Starke County Community Corrections. The request was granted by Judge Kim Hall.

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Defendant Sentenced under New Felony Classification

  A defendant will serve time on probation after his case was settled in Starke Circuit Court on Monday.

Ethan Hill pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of theft as a Level 6 felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement which called for 12 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with 12 months suspended to be served on probation.

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Trial Scheduled in the Case of Robert Corbin

 Robert Corbin’s case will go to trial.

Corbin appeared with his attorneys Friday morning for a status hearing in his case in Starke Circuit Court. Indiana Supreme Court justices unanimously reversed an Indiana Court of Appeals’ decision recently to dismiss the case where two felony counts of attempted child seduction were filed against Corbin.

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Walkerton Woman Sentenced to Probation

 A Walkerton woman was sentenced on a reduced charge in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Tamara Esparza pleaded guilty to an amended charge of neglect of a dependent as a felony. However, due to her lack of a criminal record, her cooperation with a drug investigation and her ability to do what’s best for her situation and her daughter, the felony count was reduced to a misdemeanor as ordered by Judge Kim Hall. The order was also made so she could remain gainfully employed.

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Royce Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

  A Knox man with an extensive criminal history is headed back to prison for the sixth time in his life.

James Royce, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to felony charges of residential entry and escape and a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in two separate cases. The state and defense argued Royce’s sentence to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

In one case, Royce admitted that he forced his way into his aunt’s home without an invitation. In the second case, he admitted to escaping the custody of a jailer who was escorting him from the courthouse to the Starke County Jail. Royce had appeared for a hearing in Starke Circuit Court and Judge Hall ordered him back to jail. Royce admitted that he “panicked” and ran. The jailer suffered an injury chasing after Royce. Royce was apprehended approximately 20 minutes after he escaped custody. He also admitted to tampering with the GPS ankle bracelet he was wearing as he had been on home detention through Starke County Community Corrections.

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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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Chavez to Appear for Another Attorney Status Hearing

 The man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at his home in Knox, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint and fleeing in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson and carjacking a vehicle from a residence in English Lake at gunpoint on June 6 was in court Friday morning to see if he has secured counsel.

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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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Richie Sentenced to Home Detention

 Steven Richie was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday morning.

Judge Kim Hall accepted a plea agreement between Richie and the State of Indiana in which Richie pleaded guilty to a possession of marijuana charge plus a charge of possession of marijuana with a previous conviction to merge into one Class D felony charge. Richie was sentenced to serve 20 months with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Two Cases to Go to Trial in Starke Circuit Court

Two defendants will be going to trial after hearings this week in Starke Circuit Court.

Chase Mareska failed to provide proof of acceptance to home detention as outlined in his plea agreement. Judge Kim Hall rejected his plea agreement and set his case for trial on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m.

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