Slusser Pleads Guilty During Trial

The defendant in a trial in Starke Circuit Court pleaded guilty during the final witness’s testimony Thursday afternoon.

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff said Rodney Slusser pleaded guilty to charges of attempted battery with a deadly weapon as a Level 5 felony and criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor. With his guilty plea, Bourff moved to dismiss the other counts in the case which include another felony count of attempted battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of resisting law enforcement, and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

According to the amended charging information filed in the Starke County Clerk’s Office on Monday, Slusser is pleading guilty to a charge in which he attempted to hit Officer Don Ferguson with his Ford Ranger pickup on May 26 in Starke County. He is also pleading guilty to damaging crops in a field during the incident.

The trial began on Wednesday morning and ended Thursday afternoon with Slusser’s guilty plea.

Bourff noted sentencing is set for Oct. 9 in Starke Circuit Court. If Judge Kim Hall accepts the plea, Slusser is facing a sentence of four years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended on the charge of attempted battery with a deadly weapon and six months in the DOC on the charge of criminal mischief. He will also be ordered to pay restitution. With his guilty plea, he also waives the right to appeal his sentence.