Today's News

Judge Accepts Sentence Modifications for Two Defendants

 Two sentence modification requests were brought before Judge Kim Hall in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.

Matthew Baker formerly pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to dealing methamphetamine. He told the court that he participated in the CLIFF program and successfully completed it. It was part of his plea agreement in order to have the opportunity to modify his sentence. Baker has been going to Narcotics Anonymous classes once a week and has completed 12 hours of community service. His home was searched while on house arrest and no contraband was found. A case worker from Starke County Community Corrections testified on Baker’s character and confirmed his completion of requirements through Starke County Community Corrections. The judge granted the motion to move Baker from community corrections home detention electronic monitoring to daily reporting for twelve months. He will need to continue attending N.A. meetings.

Robert Singleton, who was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine, requested that he be taken off home detention electronic monitoring to probation. Court documents indicated that he had taken 30 drug screens and breathalyzer tests and all were negative. Singleton also had successfully completed the Thinking for a Change program during his sentence. He had his home searched as well and no contraband had been found. Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mary Ryan did not object to the modification to home detention daily reporting but could not support a modification to probation due to a mandate to serve a minimum sentence. Judge Hall approved the motion to modify his sentence to home detention with daily reporting.

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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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

  Two Knox residents were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Gordon Sheib, Jr., 40, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of neglect of a dependent and false informing. He admitted in court that he told his daughter to live elsewhere when she was a dependent child in his custody. At the time of the incident, Sheib told police that his daughter was emancipated when she in fact was not.

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Knox Woman to Spend 30 Months in DOC

  A Knox woman is going to prison after a sentencing hearing yesterday morning.

Tiffany Witham, 32, admitted to a probation violation and to a charge of possession of a controlled substance as a Class D felony.

She was arrested in February after a traffic stop in North Judson where she was in possession of a controlled substance without a doctor’s prescription. Probation officer Annette Warkentien testified during the hearing stating that Witham lacked cooperation with the department. While Witham admitted that she had a drug problem, she would not follow through with treatment programs.

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Monterey Man Pleads Guilty to Marijuana Charges

 A Monterey man pleaded guilty to marijuana charges and was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.

Roland Minix, 49, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of marijuana under 30 grams and possession of marijuana with a prior conviction.

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Three Defendants Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Three Knox residents were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

Kayla Maassen, 21, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a legend drug, both Class D felonies. She was sentenced to serve 18 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with nine months suspended to be served on probation on each charge. The remaining part of the sentence was permitted to be served with Starke County Community Corrections with daily reporting. The sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time.

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Alexis Houston Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Hearing

 Alexis Houston was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Houston previously pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of possession of methamphetamine as a Class D felony and visiting a common nuisance as a Class B misdemeanor.

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement. Houston was sentenced to two years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with one year suspended to be served on probation on the charge of possession of methamphetamine. She was also sentenced to serve six months in the Starke County Jail with no part of the sentence suspended on the charge of visiting a common nuisance. The sentence was permitted to be served on home detention.

The sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time.

Defendants Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

  Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall sentenced defendants in court Thursday after conducting several hearings.

Joshua Hansen, of Hamlet, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to charges of dealing in methamphetamine as a Class B felony and maintaining a common nuisance as a Class D felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and Hansen was sentenced per the terms of that agreement. Hansen will serve eight years in the department of corrections with two years of the sentence suspended on the charge of dealing in methamphetamine and 18 months with no part of the sentence suspended on the charge of maintaining a common nuisance. He will serve two years on probation. If he successfully completes the CLIFF or GRIP program or other purposeful incarceration, he may petition the court for a modification of his sentence.

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Judge Kim Hall Rejects Plea Agreement in Arson Case

  Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall rejected a plea agreement in the case of Sally Morin in a hearing Wednesday morning.

Morin, 48, of San Pierre is accused of arson with the intent to defraud as a Class C felony. It is alleged that she intentionally set her kitchen on fire at her Knox home by pouring gasoline and lighting it on fire on March 27, 2013. She admitted to the act in court in that she initially meant to claim insurance money.

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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Two offenders were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.

David Risner, 54, of North Judson pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of possession by a meth offender as a Class D felony. Risner purchased a product containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine and he wasn’t aware that it was against the law for him to purchase it. He was previously convicted on a possession of precursors or chemical reagents charge in June 2011 and by law he cannot purchase that certain product with that prior conviction. Continue reading

Starke County Man Sentenced to Ten Years in DOC

 A Starke County man was sentenced to ten years in the Indiana Department of Corrections in a hearing held in Starke Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Jacob Nemeth, 23, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of incest as a Class C felony in a hearing on May 20 and he also admitted to a probation violation.

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Drug Offenders Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Several sentencing hearings were held in Starke Circuit Court this week where some heavy sentences were handed down to drug offenders.

Joseph Lippner pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of Dealing in a Controlled Substance (heroin) as a Class B felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Lippner to ten years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended. As part of the plea agreement, he waived his right to appeal his sentence. He will be able to participate a therapeutic community while incarcerated.

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Cody Barnette Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 A North Judson resident was sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department of Corrections in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

Cody Barnette, 20, previously pleaded guilty to charges of escape as a Class C Felony and misdemeanor charges of trespass and criminal mischief.

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Mark Carrington Sentenced in Forgery Case

  Mark Carrington was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Carrington pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to charges of forgery as a Class C felony and theft as a Class D felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the terms of that agreement and sentenced Carrington to four years in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended on the charge of forgery. On the theft charge, Carrington was sentenced to 24 months in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Two defendants were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Nathan Vermilyer pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to a charge of Dealing in Methamphetamine as a Class B felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Vermilyer to the terms of that agreement to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with three years suspended to be served on home detention through the Starke County Community Corrections program. The other three years will be served on probation.

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Ernest Dale Wireman Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

  Ernest Dale Wireman, 40, was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court this week.

He had three cases before Judge Kim Hall. Wireman pleaded guilty to a charge of Domestic Battery as a Class D Felony. He was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance as a Class D felony. Wireman was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Christopher McNeese Sentenced to 15 Years in the DOC

 Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall accepted a plea agreement between the State and defendant Christopher McNeese in which he was sentenced in two different cases to a total of 15 years in the Department of Corrections.

McNeese pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to a charge of Burglary as a Class B Felony. Per the terms of the agreement, McNeese was sentenced to 11 years in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Eight-Year Sentence Handed to Michael Derby

  A plea and sentencing hearing was held in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday in the case of Michael Derby.

Derby pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to a charge of Aggravated Battery as a Class B Felony. He admitted to causing injury to another person while incarcerated. The victim suffered broken facial bones and a concussion.

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