Law Enforcement Agencies form Starke County Major Crimes Unit

Starke County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Bourff announces the formation of the the Starke County Major Crimes Unit during a community program sponsored by the Knox Police Department and DCS.
Starke County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Bourff announces the formation of the the Starke County Major Crimes Unit during a community program sponsored by the Knox Police Department and DCS.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Starke County are joining forces to combat the local drug epidemic. During last night’s drug symposium hosted by the Knox Police Department and DCS, Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff announced a partnership that’s been two years in the planning. The Starke County Major Crimes Unit is an investigative task force made up of officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, the Knox Police Department and the Hamlet Police Department. Continue reading

New Program Aims to Curb Truancy

  
 

The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office, juvenile probation department and child protection services are joining forces with local schools in an effort to address truancy issues. Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff says this is becoming a significant problem in some schools, where students have anywhere from 30 to 40 unexcused absences. Beginning with the new semester that starts this week, he says the new program will offer a step-up approach. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Prepare For Building Renovations

starke-county-jail-outsideThe Starke County Council and Commissioners are almost ready to proceed with renovations to the courthouse and old jail building across the street. They’ve got money left from the construction of the new jail east of Knox to make upgrades to both buildings for continued correctional use.

The old jail will become office space for Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department. Community Corrections Director Bob Hinojosa told the county council and commissioners Monday his board has committed $100,000 toward the renovations on the condition that the former sally port can be turned into a conference room. Continue reading

Opening Arguments Scheduled Today in Starke County Murder Trial

 The state will begin presenting its case today against the Knox man who is accused of killing his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and stealing a car from a couple in English Lake. Gary Chavez is on trial for murder, kidnapping and carjacking in connection with the June 6, 2014 incidents. His trial started yesterday with jury selection, which took the entire day. Continue reading

Formal Charges Filed in Alleged Criminal Confinement Incidents

Benny Giselbach
Benny Giselbach

Formal charges have been filed against a Knox man accused of handcuffing, shackling and water boarding a woman at his Bass Lake area home. Employees at Bass Lake Pub and Ristorante called 911 after the woman showed up there early last Wednesday afternoon and told them she had managed to escape. Benny Giselbach was arrested nearby by deputies from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office after a multi-agency manhunt. Continue reading

No Charges Filed in Connection With Fatal Crash, Services Scheduled for Victims

 
 

Formal charges have not been filed against the driver of a pickup truck involved in Tuesday night’s fatal crash west of North Judson. Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff tells WKVI News blood tests done on 46-year-old Steven D. Cambe of Wheatfield were negative for alcohol. Additional tests for other controlled substances and prescription medication are pending, as is an Indiana State Police accident reconstruction report. Continue reading

No Charges Filed in Connection With Fatal Crash

 
 

Formal charges have not been filed against the driver of a pickup truck involved in Tuesday night’s fatal crash west of North Judson. Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff tells WKVI News blood tests done on 46-year-old Steven D. Cambe of Wheatfield were negative for alcohol. Additional tests for other controlled substances and prescription medication are pending, as is an Indiana State Police accident reconstruction report. Continue reading

Knox Police Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Child Pornography Victims

Robert Wisilinski
Robert Wisilinski

Additional charges could be filed against a Knox man accused of molesting a young boy at his Heaton Street home. Robert M. Wisilinski, 67, is charged with child molesting as a level 1 felony, child solicitation as a level 5 felony and child pornography as a level 6 felony. Detective Dave Combs with the Knox Police Department says officers traced a young boy reported missing on over the weekend to Wisilinski’s home Sunday evening. Continue reading

Starke County Prosecutor’s Office, WorkOne Partnership Helps Parents

  
 

The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office has entered into a partnership with the local WorkOne office to help non-custodial parents find jobs. Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff says a new program offered through WorkOne helps unemployed parents build job skills, get their GED, build up their resumes, learn interviewing techniques and other skills necessary to compete in the job market. Continue reading

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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Trial Set in Starke Circuit Court

 Curtis DeVries will be on trial in Starke Circuit Court.

DeVries was arrested in February of this year for his alleged involvement in a burglary that was reported at a home in Starke County. DeVries has pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary as a Class B felony and criminal mischief as a Class A misdemeanor.

The state, represented by Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff, will attempt to prove that DeVries committed the elements of those charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Defense attorney, Steve Bohm, will attempt to prove DeVries’ innocence in the matter.

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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