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Today's News

New Recording Equipment Purchased for North Judson Police Department

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff (left), Frank Thomas and Town Marshal Doug Vessely. Photo provided

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff (left), Frank Thomas and Town Marshal Doug Vessely. Photo provided

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff recently purchased new interviewing equipment for the North Judson Police Department.

The recording equipment was purchased with Pretrial Diversion funds which are used at the discretion of the prosecutor to help local law enforcement.

North Judson Town Marshal Doug Vessely said the equipment was desperately needed and everything is running smoothly.

Charges Expected Today Against Carjacking Suspect

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff hopes to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars and leading police on a high speed chase Friday afternoon. Police say Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox, commandeered the first car in the Mark Bailey’s Discount Center parking lot at 3:41 p.m. He switched vehicles in English Lake, according to authorities, and left the owner of the first stolen car behind when he took a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Continue reading

Coroner Releases Preliminary Autopsy Results in Chavez Death

The estranged wife of the Knox man accused of stealing three vehicles and leading police on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon was murdered. Kimberly Chavez, 50, of Portage, was found dead Friday evening at the home of her estranged husband, Gary. Continue reading

Porter County Prosecutor Files Charge Against Chavez

Gary Chavez is accused of stealing this 1988 GMC Sierra pickup truck from two men in Hebron Friday afternoon.

Gary Chavez is accused of stealing this 1988 GMC Sierra pickup truck from two men in Hebron Friday afternoon.

The first of several charges has been filed against the Knox man police say stole two cars in Starke County Friday afternoon, led police on a high-speed chase, stole a third vehicle in Porter County and shot himself after officers in Lake County used stop sticks to flatten the tires of the truck he was driving. Gary Chavez, 57, is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. Continue reading

Prosecutor Waiting for Autopsy Report Before Filing Charges Against Chavez

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Prosecutor Nichoals Bourff does not anticipate filing charges against the Knox man police say stole two cars in Starke County and led them on a high-speed chase through four northwest Indiana counties until at least tomorrow. Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. He’s been there since Friday night after shooting himself in an apparent attempt to avoid arrest by police in Crown Point. They used stop sticks to flatten the tires on the truck Chavez was driving. Continue reading

More Information Expected Today on Carjacking, Apparent Homicide

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

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

The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office expects to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars in Starke County and leading police from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon. Continue reading

Robert Corbin’s Case to be Heard by Indiana Supreme Court

  The Attorney General will be representing Starke County in an oral argument to be heard in the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday at 9:45 a.m. ET.

This hearing surrounds the case of Robert Corbin.

Corbin was arrested in April 2012 on two charges of Attempted Child Seduction, as Class D felonies. It was alleged that a then-sixteen-year-old student had been receiving inappropriate Facebook messages from Corbin who at the time was a teacher at the Knox Community School Corporation.

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Starke County Jury Returns Guilty Verdict on Drug Offenses

A Starke County jury returned guilty verdicts on two of the three drug charges against a Knox woman late Wednesday. They found Shari Melton guilty of possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, according to Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff. Melton was found not guilty of possession of precursors or chemical reagents. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall will sentence her at a later date.

Criminal Charges Against Todd Boldry Dropped, Voluntarily Surrenders Teacher’s License

Todd Boldry

Todd Boldry

A motion was filed and signed to drop the criminal charges against Todd Boldry in an agreement that he would surrender his teaching license permanently.

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff explained that the victim in the case didn’t want Boldry to necessarily get prison time for the offense that occurred between 2007 and 2008; she just wanted him to lose the ability to teach.

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Bond Set in Knox Swim Coach Arrest

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall set a $15,000 bond for Knox Community School swim coach Robert R. Corbin, who is charged with two counts of Attempted Child Seduction as Class D felonies. Corbin, 27, is also prohibited from making any contact with the victim.

In the affidavit in support of probable cause filed today in circuit court by Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff and prepared by Knox City Police Department Detective David Combs, it is alleged that on Wednesday, March 28, Knox Police Department Officer Chad Keen responded to a call and went to a residence in Knox. He was informed by the victim’s father that his sixteen-year-old daughter had been receiving inappropriate messages from a Knox teacher, and Officer Keen took printed pages of Facebook messages between his daughter and Corbin.
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John Goble, Sr. Accused of Theft

John Goble, Sr.

John Goble, Sr., former Street Superintendent for the Town of Hamlet, was recently arrested on a warrant for theft.

Police say that in January, Goble and his son, John Goble, Jr., resigned their positions with the street department after a disagreement with the Hamlet Town Board and the Board appointed Town Marshal Frank Lonigro III as the temporary Street Superintendent until a full-time replacement was found.

Lonigro was told by the Town Board members to conduct an inventory of all town equipment with the Street Department. Lonigro could not find a current equipment inventory list so he contacted Smith Farm Store, where most of the town’s equipment is purchased, to get a list of receipts for 2011. Lonigro reportedly found that equipment purchased and was signed for by John Goble, Sr. was unaccounted for in an inventory check. Alleged items that have not been accounted for totals $1,358.65.

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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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Special Prosecutor Named to Impropriety Case

A special prosecutor has been named to handle the case against Sheriff Oscar Cowen in which claims of impropriety were filed by former deputy Don Ferguson. Curtis Hill of Elkhart County has been named, but he has not yet accepted the position. Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff petitioned for a special prosecutor because of his close work relationship with the Starke County Police.

The Special Judge assigned to the case, Honorable Jeffrey Thode of Porter Superior Court #6 located in Portage, Ind., will replace Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall who issued an Order of Recusal and Assignment of a Special Judge to the case.

Claims of Impropriety Filed Against Starke County Sheriff

Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen

The Indiana State Police have informed Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff that claims of impropriety have been brought against Sheriff Oscar Cowen by former deputy, Don Ferguson.

Because he works closely with the Starke County Police, Prosecutor Bourff petitioned for a special prosecutor to handle the claims. Also issuing an Order of Recusal and Assignment of Special Judge was Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall. The Special Judge assigned to the case is the Honorable Jeffrey Thode of Porter Superior Court #6 located in Portage, Indiana. This Judge will conduct all future proceedings including a ruling on the pending Petition for a Special Prosecutor.

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State Moves to Dismiss Theft Charges Against John Clemons

Starke County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Bourff has moved to dismiss the charges against John Clemons due to a lack of evidence. Clemons was previously charged with Theft as a Class D felony after he was arrested on Sept. 10 for attempting to steal various scrap metal items from a residence in Knox.

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Starke Circuit Court Judge Denies Request for Special Prosecutor

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall has denied a request from Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff to appoint a special prosecutor to go forward in prosecuting Kenneth Wallace and Ryan Taylor in their upcoming court hearings.

In the request to the court, Bourff suggests that since the defendant’s father helped him in his election effort, a special prosecutor should be appointed.

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Rooster Rumblers Receive Eight-Day Plea Deadline Extension

Gilberto Navarro

Salvador Reyes

Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Arnoldo Perez

With the case at its six-month mark since their arrest, four individuals allegedly involved in an animal fighting contest in February have been given another week for their attorney, Doug Shaw from Crown Point, to work with Starke County Prosecutor Nick Bourff to formulate an acceptable plea agreement. A request for change of venue by the defense was also denied. The defendants, Gilberto Narravo, Salvador Reyes, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, and Arnoldo Perez, were present in the Starke Cirtcuit courtroom with their wives acting as translators.

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Stacie Brown to Appear for Initial Hearing in Starke Circuit Court

Stacie Brown

Stacie Brown is due in Starke Circuit Court today for an initial hearing on charges brought against her in the death of her three-year-old stepson, Ethan Brown. Stacie Brown was arrested on Friday, August 5th and Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff filed official charges against her that include Battery Resulting in Death and Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, both Class A Felonies.

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Starke County Woman Arrested in Death of Stepson

Stacie Brown

Calling it nothing short of tragic, Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff announced the arrest of Stacie Brown on Friday who was charged in the death of her three-year-old stepson, Ethan Brown. Charges brought by the Prosecutor include Battery Resulting in Death and Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death. Both are Class A Felonies.

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Starke County Prosecutor to Review Autopsy Report in South Bend

Starke County Prosecutor, Nicholas Bourff said that he and Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan and two detectives will be headed to South Bend to gain information into the death of a Knox toddler that happened June 19th

“We’re meeting with the pathologist who did the forensic autopsy,” said Bourff. “It has taken him longer to do the autopsy than we originally anticipated because he’s done more work than we originally knew he would be doing.”

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