Judge Accepts Guilty Pleas, Sentences Defendants

 A Wheatfield man who is 10 years in arrears on child support payments totaling more than $14,000 has a second chance to catch up.

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall accepted a guilty plea from Jason Lucas, 33, to the felony offense of non-support of a dependent. His 36-month prison sentence was stayed, on the condition he makes all scheduled payments. Judge Hall cautioned him that failure to pay for any reason will result in a trip to prison. Court documents indicate Lucas did not pay support from Aug. 13, 2004 until April 25, 2014. He’s been in the Starke County Jail since mid-March.

Judge Hall also sentenced John Schacht of North Judson on a habitual traffic violator charge after he entered a guilty plea. Schacht was arrested March 17 and has been in jail since. His driving privileges are suspended for life, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison with 12 months suspended to be served on probation. Judge Hall noted Schacht did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his arrest and that he was taking his mother’s car for repairs.