Today's News

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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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Starke County Program Encourages Youngsters to “Think Before You Act”

starke-county-jail-outsideYoungsters between the ages of 12 and 17 and their parents will have a chance to see firsthand the consequences of continued delinquent behavior as part of an upcoming program offered by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. Participants in the two-hour “Think Before You Act” program will get a guided tour of Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall’s courtroom and have a chance to talk to him about the problems they are experiencing.

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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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