Click to visit our Website!
Today's News

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.

Continue reading

Chavez Appears in Starke Circuit Court for Initial Hearing

 The man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at a home in Knox, kidnapping an employee in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, and carjacking a vehicle from a couple in English Lake appeared in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon for his initial hearing.

Gary Chavez pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He told Judge Kim Hall that his family is working on getting an attorney for him. An attorney status hearing is set for Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. but will be vacated if a notice of an attorney has been filed with the court. His omnibus date was set for Oct. 9.

Continue reading

Murder Defendant Out of Hospital, Jailed Without Bond

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

The rural Knox man accused of beating his wife to death, kidnapping a man from a business parking lot, stealing a Jeep at gunpoint in English Lake and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties before shooting himself is back in Starke County. Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Jailer Joshua Kazee picked Gary Chavez up from the Cook County, Ill. jail today. Continue reading

Taylor to be Tried Again in Starke Circuit Court

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor will be on trial again to face the four counts in which resulted in a hung jury.

Eric Taylor was on trial for two days in Starke Circuit Court which ended with not guilty verdicts on charges of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. The jury was deadlocked on counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. The jury deliberated for five hours.

Continue reading

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.

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.

Continue reading

Verdicts Back in Starke Circuit Court Trial

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Verdicts have returned in a jury trial in Starke Circuit Court.

Eric Taylor was found not guilty on charges of dealing in methamphetamine, a Class B felony, and possession of chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, a Class D felony. The jury was deadlocked on the last four counts for a mistrial. Those counts included possession of methamphetamine, possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of paraphernalia.

Continue reading

Defendant to go to Trial in Starke Circuit Court

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

A jury trial is scheduled for today and tomorrow in Starke Circuit Court.

Eric Taylor has been charged with six counts from an incident on March 13 in Starke County: dealing in methamphetamine as a Class B Felony, possession of chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine as a Class D felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Class D felony, possession of a syringe as a Class D felony, maintaining a common nuisance as a Class D felony and possession of paraphernalia as a Class A misdemeanor.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Smith Pleads Not Guilty to Charge of Assisting a Criminal

Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith

A woman who is reportedly connected with a Monday night battery incident in Wythogan Park in Knox was in Starke Circuit Court for her initial hearing Friday morning.

Samantha Smith, 19, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assisting a criminal, a Level 6 felony. Smith was reportedly in a car that left the scene of a battery incident in Wythogan Park. Timothy Lemon was appointed as her attorney.

Continue reading

Starke County Man Sentenced to 22 Years in DOC

Zachary Bastin

Zachary Bastin

A 22-year prison sentence was handed down to a Grovertown man in Starke Circuit Court on three serious charges.

Zachary Bastin, 21, was sentenced within an agreed recommendation filed with the court.

Bastin pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary as a Class B felony and was sentenced to 12 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Bastin also pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary as a Class C felony and was sentenced to five years in the DOC. He was sentenced to two years in the DOC on a charge of receiving stolen property as a Class D felony. No part of any sentence was suspended.

Continue reading

Sobieck Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 A co-defendant in a case involving Zachary Bastin was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court this week.

Cody Sobieck pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary as a Class B felony and was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with three years suspended to be served on home detention. Sobieck also pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal mischief as a Class D felony. He was sentenced to 14 months in the DOC with seven months suspended to be served on home detention.

Continue reading

Knox Man Receives 15 Year Prison Sentence

 A Knox man was sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Corrections in a sentencing hearing in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday morning.

Clinton Wilcox, 21 of Knox, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of burglary as a Class B felony, receiving stolen property as a Class D felony and theft as a Class D felony. He also admitted in open court that he violated probation of which he had three counts.

Continue reading