Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall rejected a plea agreement Wednesday morning for 49-year-old Patricia Vega of Medaryville and suggested she seek drug and/or alcohol treatment before her next court hearing.
Patricia Vega had agreed to plead guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of Possession of a Legend Drug as a Class D felony. As part of the plea agreement, she would serve 24 months in the Department of Corrections with 12 months suspended to be served on home detention.
As Judge Hall looked through her prior criminal record, he found that she has been convicted of 10 misdemeanor counts – five of which were Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated convictions. Vega told Judge Hall that she had just finished a sentence in Porter County for a felony OVWI charge. The judge also noted that she had four probation violations and probation revocation.
Vega admitted that she has a drinking problem and Judge Hall rejected the plea agreement. He set a final pretrial hearing for Thursday, Aug. 8 at 8 a.m. in the case. Judge Hall then told Vega that if she voluntarily checks into an inpatient drug and/or alcohol treatment facility while this case is pending, and her attorney Timothy Lemon files written notice of her admission into treatment, he will continue her case until her treatment is over.
Judge Hall stated that if she seeks treatment for herself instead of being ordered by the court to seek treatment, and successfully completes it, then he would look at this case a little differently. If she does not seek treatment, then a new plea agreement would need to be negotiated between Lemon and the prosecutor and would be presented on Aug. 8.