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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Two were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon.

Shayna Howard pleaded guilty to a charge of residential entry as a Class D felony. On June 29, she said she entered the wrong home after a party in which she became highly intoxicated. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Howard to 18 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with the sentence suspended to be served on probation. As part of the plea agreement, she will need to attend substance abuse classes or any other program recommended by the probation department.

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Howard Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Stabbing Incident

Benton Chrisopher Howard

Benton Christopher Howard

Benton Christopher Howard appeared in Starke Circuit Court for his initial hearing Wednesday afternoon.

On Nov. 30, Howard allegedly stabbed Brandon Davidson at a residence in Knox with a knife with a six to eight inch blade. The knife caused damage to Davidson’s heart and collapsed a lung.

A warrant was issued for Howard’s arrest and he turned himself into the Starke County Jail on Friday, Dec. 12.

Howard, 42, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, and aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony. A Level 1 felony carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years if convicted while a Level 3 felony carries a sentence of three to six years.

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Reyes Sentenced to 17 Years in DOC

 A Grovertown man was sentenced to serve 17 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections during a hearing in Starke Circuit Court yesterday.

Ryan Reyes, 19, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to two counts of child molesting as a Class B felony in two separate cases and criminal mischief as a Class D felony in a separate case.

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Culver Woman Sentenced to Probation

  A Culver woman was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of possession of methamphetamine as a Class D felony that was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.

Erin Schoberg was sentenced to 12 months in the Starke County Jail. All of the sentence was suspended to be served on probation. Schoberg told Judge Kim Hall that she was in possession of a half of a pill that was in her purse.

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Robert Corbin Pleads Not Guilty to Three New Charges

Robert "Ryan" Corbin

Robert “Ryan” Corbin

New charges have been filed against Robert Corbin in Starke Circuit Court.

Corbin, 30, pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class B felony and two counts of child seduction as a Class C felony and as a Class D felony. He allegedly had sexual intercourse and exchanged inappropriate messages with a then-15-year-old female in between January and March of 2012. He was employed at the Knox High School at the time of these alleged incidents.

Judge Kim Hall set his bond at $3,000 cash. He will retain his current counsel who is representing him in an active case that is set for trial on Jan. 14. In that case, Corbin allegedly sent inappropriate Facebook messages to a then-16-year-old student in 2012.

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Family Dollar Store Manager Charged with Theft

 The General Manager at the Family Dollar store in Knox pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft in an initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court yesterday.

Casey Anthony, 28, of South Bend, is accused of stealing $19,430.31 from the store in a one-time theft in between March and April of this year. Anthony was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 25 and has since has bonded out of jail on a $5,000 surety bond. Anthony told Judge Kim Hall that he is working on retaining an attorney to defend him.

North Judson Resident Sentenced to Probation

  Julie Serrano was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of resisting law enforcement and a misdemeanor charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.

Serrano pleaded guilty to those charges in a plea agreement with the state which Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall accepted. Serrano was sentenced to 24 months in the Indiana Department of Corrections with all of the sentence suspended to be served on probation. She was sentenced to six months in the Starke County Jail on the charge of battery on a law enforcement officer with all of the time suspended to be served on probation. Those sentences will be served consecutively.

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Jeremy Rowe Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 A man who was involved in a burglary incident in December 2011 was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court yesterday.

Jeremy Rowe pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property as Class B felonies. The court accepted the agreement where Rowe was sentenced to 15 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with three years suspended to be served on probation on the charge of burglary. The remaining 12 years was permitted to be served on LaPorte County Work Release.

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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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Trial Date Set for Accused Murderer

 A trial date has been set in the case of a man who is accused of murdering his estranged wife.

Gary Chavez appeared for a status hearing in Starke Circuit Court on Monday afternoon with his attorneys, Leslie Baker and Dave Welter. Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff indicated that there were some discovery issues with several pieces of evidence. Dave Welter told the judge that some medical reports are also needed and Chavez may require another surgery.

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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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Status Hearing Scheduled Today for Murder Defendant

A murder defendant is scheduled to appear in Starke Circuit Court this afternoon for a status hearing. Gary Chavez is charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. Authorities say he killed his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, at their rural Knox home on June 6, drove to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, left his car and kidnapped a store employee at gunpoint. Continue reading

Jury Returns Not Guilty Verdict in Intimidation Trial

 A jury in Starke Circuit Court returned a not guilty verdict against a criminal defendant. Heather Ferch was originally charged with intimidation as a Class C felony in connection with an incident in May of this year. After the state’s four witnesses testified, Ferch’s attorney moved to have the case dismissed due to an absence of evidence.

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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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Building Corporation, Commissioners Discuss Courthouse Renovations

starke-county-courthouseMoney to renovate the second floor of the Starke County Courthouse could come from the county economic development income tax funds used to pay for the new jail. At that time the existing jail across from the courthouse will be renovated to accommodate Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department. Plans call for the prosecutor’s office to move from the basement of the current jail into the courthouse and the current clerk’s office to be renovated. Continue reading

Woman Sentenced for Her Part in Battery Incident

  A woman accused of assisting a suspect in a battery incident at Wythogan Park in Knox in July was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Samantha Smith, 19, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of assisting a criminal as a Level 6 felony. She drove a car with the battery suspect as a passenger from the scene of the crime. That suspect had struck another teenager in the head. The force of the impact caused the teenager to fall to the ground where his head hit a cement walkway and caused serious injury.

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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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