Castaneda, Albertson Appear for Sentencing Hearings in Starke Circuit Court

  A woman was sentenced to serve probation in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

Heather Castaneda pleaded guilty in a plea agreement the state to charges of neglect of a dependent as a Class D felony and possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. She admitted that she did not give a dependent proper care which resulted in a health issue.

Starke Circuit Court Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Castaneda, 26, per the terms of that agreement. She was ordered to serve 24 months in the Department of Corrections on the charge of neglect of a dependent with all of the sentence suspended to be served on probation. Castaneda was also sentenced to 12 months in the Starke County Jail with the entire sentence suspended to be served on probation. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, or at the same time.

If she successfully completes probation, she may petition the court for a misdemeanor treatment. Castaneda was ordered to have no contact with the victim unless allowed by the Department of Child Services.

Castaneda does not have a prior criminal record.

Magistrate Calabrese rejected a plea agreement in the case of Bryan Albertson as she believed that the state and the defense need to come to an agreement that would keep Albertson off the road for the safety of the public.

She noted that Alberston has been convicted four times for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVWI) since 2002 and has been classified as a habitual traffic violator.

A status hearing was set in the matter for Thursday,Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.