Knox Man Sentenced to Home Detention, Probation in Hearing

A Knox man was sentenced per the terms of a plea agreement in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

Frank Matkovich admitted to Judge Kim Hall that he was driving under the influence of alcohol while his license was forfeited for life in the area of McGill and Washington Streets in Knox on July 18, 2017. He said a police officer recognized him behind the wheel of his vehicle knowing that he had a suspended driver’s license.

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Starke County Justice Center Garden Expands, Trustees Start Planting for the Season

The Starke County Justice Center gardening program continues to grow!

According to Therapeutic Community Coordinator and Jail Warden Phil Cherry, the garden has quadrupled in size since last year. Justice Center has received multiple awards for the garden and the program in the three years since it’s been implemented.

Despite the dreary weather Thursday morning, a handful of trustees were out planting some “cold weather” items such as onions and potatoes. Though only about 6 inmates were working on this task, Warden Cherry shared that anywhere from 30 to 40 individuals will eventually be involved. Continue reading

Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Drug Charges

Two defendants charged with a felony level of possession of methamphetamine were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

Debra Trusty, 46, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office to the charge. She admitted that she was in possession of the drug while in a police vehicle while enroute to the Starke County Jail on Dec. 5, 2015. Trusty’s attorney, Leslie Baker, explained that she successfully completed treatment and is gainfully employed. She is also attempting to make changes in her life to keep herself sober.

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Four Women Graduate Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

The graduates stand with Addictions Therapist Leo Smith

Four women received their certificate of completion of the Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program at the Starke County Justice Center.

The inmates took part in the 14-week program provided by officials from Porter-Starke Services. The program focused on overcoming addictions while rethinking behaviors and life choices. Participants develop skills to manage stress, anger, cravings, triggers, critical thinking and decision making. The program was facilitated by Chemical Dependency and Addictions Therapist Leo Smith who has 27 years of experience in the field working in corrections, outpatient, residential and detoxification.

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LaPorte Man Arrested after Police Pursuit in Starke County

Brock Lindsey

A La Porte man remains in the Starke County Justice Center after a weekend police pursuit in Starke County.

Members of the Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership were conducting a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 17, on U.S. 30 and 600 E. when the driver of an orange colored passenger car allegedly disregarded a stop sign at that intersection. The vehicle then traveled west on U.S. 30 at a high rate of speed.

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Inmates Graduate from Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall (L) and Leo Smith (R) stand with the graduates of the Chemical Dependency and and Addiction Program

Eight inmates from the Starke County Justice Center are now graduates of the Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program.

The program allowed inmates the opportunity to obtain counseling services and substance abuse education while incarcerated in the Starke County Justice Center. It was a 14-week treatment program facilitated by Porter-Starke Services and led by Chemical Dependency and Addictions Therapist Leo Smith. Therapists assisted inmates in restructuring behaviors and thoughts in addiction remediation. Skills taught included the management of stress, anger, cravings, triggers, critical reasoning and decision making.

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Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Two people were sentenced Wednesday morning in Starke Circuit Court.

Dallas Sheets, 19, of Knox pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of residential entry as a Level 6 felony. He admitted to entering his father and step mother’s house without permission and took a futon. The incident occurred on Sept. 19, 2017. Sheets was sentenced to 12 months in the Starke County Justice Center. That sentence was suspended to be served on probation. Sheets will have to complete all programs recommended by the Starke County Probation officers. If he violates his terms of probation, he will have to serve the remainder of his term in the Starke County Justice Center.

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Nine Inmates Complete Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

Nine Starke County Justice Center inmates recently graduated from a Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program.

The program focuses on addiction thought processes and criminal behavior. The inmates learn how to overcome their addiction while restructuring thoughts and behavior.

Porter-Starke Services therapists dedicate time to help the inmates conquer the program. Inmates focus on self awareness and self improvement in treatment sessions over a period of 14 weeks. Inmates develop skills to manage stress, anger, cravings and appropriate ways to respond to triggers. Critical reasoning and decision making skills are also taught in these courses. Continue reading

Two Sentenced on Battery Charges

Two offenders were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning on battery charges in two separate cases.

Scott Tharpe, 35, of Plymouth, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a felony charge of battery of a person less than the age of 14. Tharpe admitted to Judge Kim Hall that on July 12, 2016, at a residence in Knox he threw his nephew on the ground and pushed his face in the dirt. He also pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement. Tharpe admitted to resisting arrest from Officer Clint Norem in the same incident. Continue reading

Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Drug Charges

Two people were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning on drug charges in two separate incidents.

Joshua Muzik, 20, of Monon, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced on that charge to 13 months in the Starke County Justice Center with seven months suspended to be served on probation. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while suspended and was sentenced to six months in the Starke County Justice Center. Those two sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time. Continue reading