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Today's News

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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McCurdy Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

A Knox man was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday and was released from the Starke County Jail.

Christopher McCurdy, 46 of Knox, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of Strangulation as a Class D felony and Battery as a Class A misdemeanor.

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Jury Trial Scheduled Today in Starke Circuit Court

Starke County Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese will be presiding over a trial that begins in Starke Circuit Court today.

Three days have been set aside to hear evidence and testimony in the case of Chad Scarborough who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of Theft as a Class D Felony. Scarborough was arrested on Feb. 21 after he allegedly shoplifted an item from Smith Farm Store in Knox.

Starke County Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan will be representing the State in this case. The trial begins at 9 a.m. CT with jury selection.

Several other jury trials set for this week were rescheduled due to congestion in the court calendar.

O’Bryant Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Child Molestation

Steven L. O'Bryant

A man with a violent history and four heinous charges of Child Molestation made his initial appearance in the Starke Circuit Court yesterday. Forty-three-year-old Steven L. O’Bryant pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him and vehemently denied the allegations, insisting on a lie detector test to prove his innocence.

“These charges are sick and disgusting,” O’Bryant said, insisting that while a lot of defendants claim they are innocent, he is truly so. He insisted that the state subject him to a lie detector test.

O’Bryant requested a court-appointed attorney represent him, as he is financially unable to provide his own attorney. He says since his release from the Department of Corrections on June 6, 2011, he has been unable to find a job because of the tattoos on his face. As a result, Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall appointed Timothy Lemon to his case.

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Higdon Receives Two Years For Fleeing Police

Raymond Higdon

After fleeing from police in a vehicle on April 27 before he was ultimately arrested and charged with Resisting Law Enforcement, Driving While Suspended, and Reckless Driving, Raymond Higdon appeared in the Starke Circuit Court this week for his plea and sentencing hearing.

Higdon pleaded guilty to Resisting Law Enforcement as a Class D felony, and the other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Higdon will serve two years in the Department of Corrections with none of that sentence suspended, and he will also be required to pay all court costs and submit to a DNA cheek swab.

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Fort Receives 10-Year Sentence For Dealing In Methamphetamine

Starke County Courthouse

A number of plea and sentencing hearings were held in the Starke Circuit Court by Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese yesterday afternoon.

Mary Fort pleaded guilty to one count of Dealing in Methamphetamine as a Class B felony. She also admitted to committing two probation violations in that she failed to attend Narcotics Anonymous classes, and failed to pay fees and court costs related to her probation. She was also arrested in March, and failed a random drug test for methamphetamine.

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Plea Agreements In Murriah Dailey Attempted Murder and Robert Reed Robbery Case Move Forward In Starke Circuit Court

Murriah Dailey

Robert Reed

Plea agreements have been filed in open court for Murriah Dailey and Robert Reed. Dailey was previously charged with two counts of Attempted Murder as a Class A felony, Attempted Escape, Robbery, Receiving Stolen Property, two counts of Resisting Law Enforcement, and Striking A Law Enforcement Animal. Reed faced charges of Robbery, Receiving Stolen Property, two counts of Resisting Law Enforcement, and one count of Habitual Traffic Violator. Murriah Dailey appeared in front of Starke Circuit Court Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese on March 26th 2012 and the plea agreement was found to be acceptable.

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Shelby Thomas Appears for Initial Hearing in Starke Circuit Court

Shelby Thomas

Shelby Thomas appeared in Starke Circuit Court on Friday where he plead not guilty to three counts of Attempted Murder, four counts of Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon and three counts of Resisting Law Enforcement with a Deadly Weapon.

Thomas, of North Judson, was arrested on Sunday, October 16th after he allegedly threatened to kill a Knox man in the 1400 block of west 400 S. in Knox as he held a knife up against his throat. The man got away and Thomas was later questioned about the incident. When officers from the Knox City Police Department and the Starke County Sheriff’s Department asked Thomas to place his hands behind his back, his demeanor reportedly turned to anger. He then reached behind his back to remove a knife from his pants line and threatened the lives of two of the officers trying to place him into custody. The blade on the knife was 10 to 12 inches in length and Thomas reportedly began swinging the knife at the three officers and telling them, “I’m not going back to prison. You’ll have to kill me first.” Thomas was then tasered and officers were able to free the knife from Thomas’ hands. Thomas was tasered twice before he released the knife that he reportedly swung at the officers.

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Not Guilty Plea Entered for Stacie Brown

Stacie Brown, who faces two felony charges in the death of her stepson Ethan on June 19th, made her initial appearance in Starke Circuit Court yesterday.

Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese entered a preliminary plea of not guilty for the defendant. She also delayed a request for a court appointed attorney to defend her.

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News from Starke Circuit Court

Jack Haut

Friday was a busy day for the Starke Circuit Court as Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese set several dates for many of the cases that appeared before her. In one such case, a jury status hearing for Jack Haut, a pre-trial motion and instructions date was set for July 19th at 1:00 p.m. Haut is charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Death and Reckless Homicide after his pickup truck collided with the motorcycle of Tom White last July, causing White’s death. Continue reading

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